Hadleigh-based Challs opens new offices less than three years after old premises were destroyed by fire

Ribbon cutting at Challs' new offices with (L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Mayor of Hadl

Ribbon cutting at Challs' new offices with (L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Mayor of Hadleigh Yvonne Free and Challs managing director Graham Burchell - Credit: Archant

A household cleaning products manufacturer whose premises in Hadleigh were ravaged by fire less than three years ago, officially opened its new state-of-the-art offices yesterday.

(L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Challs managing director Graham Burchell and Mayor of Ha

(L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Challs managing director Graham Burchell and Mayor of Hadleigh Yvonne Free - Credit: Archant

Staff at Challs, which produces the well-known plughole cleaning brand, Buster, have spent the last 33 months working from side buildings since the blaze in October 2014, but yesterday they were able to move their equipment into the new purpose-built headquarters on Lady Lane Industrial Estate. Around 150 people turned out for the ribbon-cutting event including South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Yvonne Free, Mayor of Hadleigh.

Managing director of Challs, Graham Burcell, said the new office offered a “fresh start” for the company and would act as a “springboard for the business to continue to grow”.

He added; “Today we have been reflecting on the fire, which was a dramatic and emotional day for the company, but even then I knew we had a good team and a good business and it was an opportunity to build something bigger and better.

“What we wanted was a new building that reflected us as business: a team with family values that are innovative and forward-thinking.”

Ribbon cutting at Challs' new offices with (L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Mayor of Hadl

Ribbon cutting at Challs' new offices with (L to R) South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, Mayor of Hadleigh Yvonne Free and Challs managing director Graham Burchell - Credit: Archant


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Mr Burchell said where possible Challs had employed local businesses on the building project. Principal firms involved in the construction included OWL Architects and Gill Associates, both from Ipswich, and Needham Market-based Mixbrow Construction. A total of 55 staff will now inhabit the new building, which will act as international headquarters for the company, which sells it products across five continents.

The new offices incorporate some of the latest technologies including a lighting system that automatically alters according to the amount of natural light in the building and a water harvesting system that will collect rain water and store it underground as well as share it with the company’s production areas.

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Solar panels and passive ventilation systems are also incorporated.

Mr Burchell added: “The companies have delivered the vision for the business. The building is probably one of the most technically-advanced in East Anglia and is likely to become a beacon for Hadleigh.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Challs MD Graham Burchell in the company's new office atrium

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Challs MD Graham Burchell in the company's new office atrium - Credit: Archant

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