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Grayline Commercial News
Back in December 2014, the Blackthorn Hill site where Grayline Commercial and ATF now stands, was a beansprout farm, classified as ‘brown-field’ land for agricultural use. Following a compulsory purchase order in 2015 by Network Rail, Grayline had to find a new home…
We were happy to consider other sites to settle on, since the expansion of the rail service to Bicester town meant that the area was growing and thriving, and Grayline was a part of the future of Bicester.
1. The farm before work started - with thanks to Carter Jonas LLP
We found the beansprout farm, which was ready for redevelopment and put in a detailed planning application. Cherwell District Council accepted our change of use application with no hitches, citing that Grayline was a major employer and provided essential services to local schools and the town of Bicester, with our coaches and drivers, as well as our provision of heavy goods vehicle servicing and testing services.
1. Nosy neighbours wondering what's about to happen...
We could utilise some of the existing buildings on the site, so on the day the purchase went through, we moved half our fleet of coaches from Station Approach, into their new home at Blackthorn Hill. For a while, as we developed the commercial servicing lanes and ATF lane, we operated from two sites, with never a break in the provision of service, in fact our rental customers didn’t even notice we’d moved at first!
The old Grayline site at Station Approach closed on 27 February 2015 when the rest of the fleet of coaches moved into the new facility.
We are extremely proud of Grayline Coaches, of the commercial servicing facility and of the ATF lane, and we would like to share the transformation with you.
The day that Premier Pits arrived with our first pink pit was a landmark day for us! This first image gives you a clear idea of the size of the excavation project we had undertaken. And this was for just the ATF lane, we then had two more service lanes to build…
Young Josh Gray, then eight years of age and the fourth generation of Grays, to be involved with the business, starts his career by supervising the pouring of concrete and finishing the ATF lane.
In these shots, you can see the rolling road being installed, with the pit in the background. You can also just make out the beginnings of the VOSA office where the inspector takes up residence four days a week!
And in the final images below, the offices really begin to take shape. It might look like a cage at this stage, but our admin team can come and go freely, honest!
We pulled off this amazing transformation, from beansprout farm to premier ATF, with the support of many skilled and talented people, namely Jeremy Firth, project manager of Trilogie CRE, Steve Thomas from JRD Design - the contractor on all groundworks. Construction and fit out of the offices was courtesy of Kelvin Foyle at RBS, Birmingham, with Nick Austin and MAHA UK Ltd.
Responsible for the fit out of the commercial and ATF lanes. Gallagher flooring supplied a beautifully painted floor and we had communications, IT and security support from local suppliers, Rammacom, The Computer Clinic Bicester and Safeguard Secure. Our thanks and gratitude goes to you all.
From beansprout farm to premier ATF - The story of Grayline at Blackthorn Hill May 2017