James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot continues expansion

James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot is set to open its latest branch in Milton Keynes later this month.

Already well established across the northern counties of England, the new site in the district of Bletchley will be the 52nd branch in the James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot portfolio. Plans are already underway for further branches in the south of England over the coming year.

"Milton Keynes takes us into new territory, but the plan is for more to quickly follow with both Northampton and Daventry prominent on our radar," said sales director Bill Davies. "Developing into southern regions has appealed to us for some time and we are now happy to back our plans with significant investment."

Prior to Milton Keynes, the company's most southerly branch was Stoke, which opened in 2012 and has proved very successful.

"Stoke convinced us that we could operate efficiently without having to stay close to our headquarters in Burnley," added Mr Davies. "We feel very confident that our reputation for providing the highest levels of stock and service can continue wherever our future branches might be."

Future developments will see James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot continue with its policy of building branches around people with local experience. Chris Hargrave, a plumbing depot manager with significant experience in the Milton Keynes area, has been appointed manager of the new branch.

Northampton-born Mr Hargrave, 36, is a former international athletics champion who represented Great Britain and posted national records on the international stage at sprint hurdles and relay.

Mr Davies continued: "Location is always a key factor, but finding the right calibre of manager is equally important - preferably locals with knowledge of both the industry and the respective town or city. This approach has served us exceptionally well down the years and Chris is the perfect fit."

James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot has already invested more than £5m in opening 18 new branches in the past three years.

"There is no upper limit on the number of branches we would like and the net is widening all the time," said Mr Davies. "We are the biggest and best known independent plumbing depot in the north and now our challenge is to duplicate that success in the south. It is a very exciting time for us."

Pictured: Chris Hargrave is welcomed to the latest James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot branch in Milton Keynes by area manager Martin Healy.