Landmark design for Joules’ new Market Harborough base

An artist's impression of how the new headquarters could look.
An artist's impression of how the new headquarters could look.

Fashion and homewear retailer Joules is looking to commit its future to Market Harborough with a landmark new town HQ.

The multi-million pound complex in Rockingham Road will employ 435 people by 2019, increasing to 527 by 2024.

Joules will take over Compass House from town travel firm Travelsphere, who are moving out.

Joules plans to keep about two-thirds of the old 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.

In a statement that is part of their planning application to Harborough District Council, key town employer Joules say: “The opportunity to put down permanent roots inMarket Harborough is a key driver for this project.

“Joules is a company that has deep roots in Market Harborough. The company was born and raised in the town and continues to grow there.

“Joules would like to build on this history by establishing a longterm home in the town.”

At the moment, Joules is based in five different buildings on The Point, on the opposite side of Rockingham Road.

Joules has already paid £4.4 million for the Compass House site. The company will spend more millions to create their new base.

The announcement this week is the latest development in the rise and rise of the Market Harborough firm.

Only last month Joules announced that sales and profits had risen again – at a time when other retail chains were struggling.

Total turnover was up 18 per cent to almost £186 million in the year to the end of May, 2018.

Pre-tax profits were up 28.5 per cent at £13 million – while overseas sales grew by a third.

Joules chief executive Colin Porter said a new town HQ was another “important step in supporting the brand’s long term growth both in the UK and internationally”.

The company’s founder and chief brand officer Tom Joule has told the Mail: “Market Harborough has always been very important to me, and I think there’s a lot of Market Harborough in the brand.

“We’re all about the aspirational family looking for a better life. Is that living in a big city or is it about living somewhere where there’s more room for the family, like a great market town?”