Hire company Alias Smith and Singh is opening new offices in East London and Manchester as part of an expansion strategy designed to quadruple company turnover inside five years.
The moves have been aided by the sale of a 10% stake in the firm to DIA, an investment vehicle backed by the people behind The Bridge Training, Dan Gable and David Brady (Broadcast, 15.01.09). Both have joined the board.
Alias Smith and Singh has taken a lease on 4,000sq ft of a derelict print factory in Hackney Wick, part of a redevelopment project opposite the 2012 Olympic Park.
It plans to spend £100,000 improving the building, which will eventually house 80% of its rental fleet and provide new maintenance and servicing facilities.
Staff numbers will also rise, from 12 to 16, and an investment will be made in solid-state camcorders.
At the same time, a hire office will be opened in Altrincham, near Manchester that will supply shooting kits and VTRs to MediaCityUK and the North West. The company already has offices in Soho and at Pinewood Studios.
Managing director Mike Smith said: “The Olympics will be a small part of the jigsaw. We need to expand, but it’s too expensive in Soho. Plus many of our producer clients are starting to migrate east because of cheaper office space.”
He added: “Before the investment, we didn’t really have the time or resources to grow. We could’ve just bumbled along, growing steadily but we’re looking for a steep growth curve and to quadruple turnover inside 3 to 5 years. Dan and David bring us ideas, contacts and serious trading experience.”