Joules gets approval for new Market Harborough headquarters for 527 staff

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Fashion and homewear retailer Joules has been given planning permission for its landmark new HQ in Market Harborough.

Work on the multi-million pound complex in Rockingham Road, which is scheduled to employ 527 people by 2024, could start as soon as January next year.

Joules – a key town employer – will take over and expand Compass House, current home of town travel firm G Touring (formerly Travelsphere), who are moving out.

The site alone cost Joules £4.4 million.

A spokesman for G Touring, which itself employs around 180 people in Market Harborough, said: “G Touring is delighted to confirm that we are remaining in Market Harborough and will announce our exciting new location in due course.

“In the meantime we continue to work closely with Joules during this transition period.”

Tom Joule, founder and chief brand officer of Joules, commented: “We are delighted to receive planning permission for our new head office development.

“This is great news for our brand, our team and the local community.

“Market Harborough is in Joules’ DNA and represents a very important ingredient in our brand’s heritage and unique personality.”

The new 60,000 square feet facility will bring all of Joules’ UK-based head office teams under one roof for the first time.

Joules plans to keep about two-thirds of the old Travelsphere building, part-covered with a structural mesh for climbing plants.

The company will add a big new ‘barn conversion’ style L-shaped building to create a Joules “head office campus” around a covered central courtyard.

The 4.7 acre site will also feature landscaped gardens and a two storey car park.

The scheme will also provide two “mock shops” for current and future Joules products, and a café.

The company statement said: “We have ambitious plans to further grow the Joules brand, both in the UK and internationally.

“We are confident that our new head office will help preserve and strengthen our special culture and allow us to continue to attract and retain world-class talent.”

Established in Market Harborough by Tom Joule nearly three decades ago, Joules markets itself as “a premium lifestyle brand with an authentic heritage”.

The company designs and sells clothing, footwear and accessories for women, men and children, as well as an expanding range of homewares, toiletries and eyewear collections.

They are available through more than a hundred of its own retail stores, online, at rural shows and events and wholesale.

Joules is enjoying growing success as a company, despite problems for other high street brands.

In the year to May, 2018, the company said group revenues had increased by an impressive 18.4 per cent to almost £186 million.