Celebrations all round at Swindon business centre

By Anita Jaynes on 25 March, 2015

It’s a double celebration at Bizspace’s BSS House business centre in Swindon, as the site’s longest serving occupant is retiring in the same year the centre marks its 30th anniversary.

The Bizspace team prepared a special presentation for Chris Rothwell, 71, whose company Thamesair has been based at BSS House since it opened as Swindon’s first business centre.

Pneumatic equipment stockist Thamesair has been bought by Oxford-based M F Hydraulics and will continue to operate from BSS House, but Chris is looking forward to a well-earned retirement.

“Retirement will be a very dramatic change for me and I will miss the companionship, as well as the intellectual challenge, that comes with running a business,” he said.

“I left school at 16 and have been an engineer for more than 50 years.  Thamesair began life in 1980 and moved to BSS House shortly afterwards and I have been here since 1990.

“It was such a lovely gesture of Bizspace to present me with an engraved wine toolkit and bottle of wine, which is something that’s a passion of mine.  We see the team every day and they always have a friendly word. They have been fantastic landlords.”

Chris plans to play plenty of golf after he retires at the end of April and will begin researching his family history.

“One thing everyone will miss about Chris is his singing,” said Jane Kirk, centre manager at BSS House.

“He would often sing to himself while he was using the photocopier or walking through the centre and it was lovely to hear.  We wish him all the best in his retirement and are very pleased that Thamesair will be remaining here at BSS House.

“It’s quite a coincidence that our longest-serving occupant is retiring during the business centre’s 30th anniversary year but it does make for a nice double celebration.  We are planning some events to mark our pearl anniversary and are hoping to get lots of our customers involved.”

Chris continued: “I am glad that Thamesair will be staying at BSS House as it has become a part of the company’s history and has been a fantastic base for us.  Customers find it easy to come and visit with all the on-site parking and we have all the facilities we need here.

“While it’s a strange feeling to see my business in new hands, I am trying not to get emotionally involved and I am confident that the new owners will bring exciting opportunities for the company.”

Thamesair has occupied three different units during its 30 years at BSS House as the needs of the business have changed and developed.

Over its three decades more than 500 businesses have had their home at BSS House.  Currently, 73 businesses are based at the centre, with 13 of these having been residents for more than 10 years.

Bizspace’s sales and marketing director, Emma Long, commented: “Our customers are at the heart of each of our business centres and we are very proud to have so many who have been with us for long periods of time.  Chris will be very much missed at BSS House so it was only fitting that we congratulate him on his retirement.”

Bizspace offers short term, flexible space from industrial estates, business centres and business parks throughout England and Scotland. For more information visit www.bizspace.co.uk

Pictured above: Bizspace BSS House business centre manager Jane Kirk presents Chris Rothwell with an engraved wine toolkit and bottle of wine.