Brothers buy £1m new HQ to enable next phase of Caltech Lifts’ £6m growth plan, including even better service

Fraser (left) and Andrew Renwick have bought Affinity House to be the new home of Caltech Lifts.

The brothers who run Caltech Lifts have unlocked the next phase of our plan to grow to £6m turnover and improve our service by buying a new HQ building in Dundee with warehouses and rental offices for £1m.

Our family firm, established in 1978 by Howard Renwick and run since 2013 by two of his sons – Andrew and Fraser – is one of Scotland’s leading suppliers and maintainers of lifting equipment, including passenger lifts, goods lifts, disabled access lifts and stairlifts to the public and private sectors, and maintains more than 1,500 lifts across the UK.

Our planned growth to £6m turnover has long been constrained by the size of our HQ at the Port of Dundee, necessitating the use of shipping containers in our car park to store equipment and parts as well as admin staff working across more than one office inside and remotely.

Affinity House

Now the ambition to unlock the next stage of the our growth plan has been met through the purchase of Affinity House in the city’s Dryburgh Industrial Estate for £1m from Affinity Business Centre Limited by Calsum Property Ltd, a commercial property firm set up by Andrew and Fraser with two close business associates. The deal was financed with a commercial mortgage from Allica Bank via Breadalbane Finance and plus investment from Caltech and the other investors, who will help with the running and promotion of the business centre.

For that they’re gaining the thriving two-storey 2,000 square-metre Affinity Business Centre, two warehouses totalling 666 square-metres, a store, a 40-space car park with seven EV charging points and a 0.4-acre service yard with a 5kW wind turbine. The business centre features 29 high-quality offices and its 15 tenants include firms from a range of sectors including homecare, subsea engineering, legal, communications networks and marketing.

The ground floor board room at Affinity House.
The site has two warehouses and a large store.

The Renwicks and their business partners plan to continue to run Affinity House as a fully-let business centre – renting out office and storage space, including a hot-desking area. Caltech will use one of the warehouses as well as an open-plan office which has an internal office, meeting room, kitchen and can comfortably accommodate 25 people. The building also has a gym for tenants and staff. We plan to move in by June.

The hotdesking suite at Affinity House.
This warehouse will allow Caltech Lifts to improve its service.
The open-plan office Caltech will use.
The Staff Room at Affinity House.
The gym at Affinity House.

Lift showroom

We also aim to set up a showroom for passenger lifts, platform lifts and stairlifts – so clients can see them in person before buying. It will also enable us to host technical seminars for clients’ design teams as well as conduct apprentice training in a controlled unpressured environment.

Fully-let, the centre is projected to yield tenant rental income of £372,000 a year, including from the units Caltech uses. That will be supplemented by a plan to rent out self-storage containers in the service yard and the warehouse and store we won’t use. The new owners predict that could increase annual rental income to £420,000..

‘Hefty goal’

Speaking about the step-change in Caltech’s growth plan, Managing Director Andrew Renwick said: “This was always a hefty goal for us on our road to the future Caltech we envision – one we’ve been looking to achieve for the last eight years. We looked at several premises, but it had to be the perfect place for us.

“This move will allow us space to accommodate more staff, equipment and parts for increased orders as we grow from £4.2m turnover and six-figure profit in 2022-23 towards our £4.5m 2023-4 turnover target and on to our £6m growth aim.

3-year goals

“Our three-year goals are doubling our maintenance portfolio, further expanding our service south of the border, opening an office in Glasgow to better support the team working there and increasing our ‘turnkey installations’ by 50% – where we take on a principal contractor role and bring in our sub-contractors associated with the complete all-trades work associated with lift installations.

“Our customers will benefit from: being able to come and see our product offerings; the bigger warehouse allowing more parts to be held in stock – so enabling quicker repairs; more efficient back office support to our field engineers as we look to add to our admin and operations team – which will make things more slick and streamlined and better prices from manufacturers as the volume of our sales increases.

“Part of our growth strategy is long-term investment, so this continues that. We always aimed to be ‘live-in landlords’ as it makes sense for the business and we’re confident we’ll be good at it. We have some spare offices and hot-desks, so any prospective tenants should get in touch.

Staff wellbeing

“Importantly, the wellbeing of our staff when in the office will improve thanks to the great staff rooms, brand new kitchens, shower facilities, meeting rooms, barbecue area we plan to create and the gym. This building has lots of great things which make it a really positive working environment.

“We’re relishing the prospect of the new heights we can achieve for the company, its customers and staff after we move in.”

Kyle Moir, Partner in Commercial Property at Thorntons Law, acted for Caltech on the deal, which was completed on February 29.

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Sandra Cole
Sandra Cole
I would like to say a huge thank you to your team for the excellent customer service you have provided to my parents in Dundee. You have gone way beyond providing a service. My mum is disabled and cannot function at home without her stairlift. She is by all accounts housebound. The support you have given them is quite frankly unbelievable and it is blatantly apparent how much you care. I cannot recommend your company highly enough. My parents are my world and I have no words to explain just how well you have looked after them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are amazing. Sandra Cole.
Lynn N
Lynn N
Quoted and fitted a stairlift for my parents at short notice and at a significantly lower price than all the national competitors. Happy to support a local company, and we were delighted with the service - from sales staff to the guy who performed the installation.
We (Alpha Projects) have worked with Caltech Lifts on several projects and would not hesitate to highly recommend the company. We have always found Caltech to offer a friendly, personable service and carry out their works in an efficient, safe and timely manner.
John Fort
John Fort
Cannot thank Caltech enough for swift service in getting our lift back up and running in time when we urgently needed it most, could not have got this service any where else top job guys - Thank you again - The Fort Hotel Broughty Ferry Dundee
Jason Sellars
Jason Sellars
An absolute pleasure to deal with. Having discussed my requirements Caltech were able to provide a stairlift that matched my criteria and budget perfectly. Very impressed by their clear, friendly and fast communication as well as punctuality . Installation work by engineer Tony is impeccable, and was carried out very efficiently with no disruption at all. He also gave excellent step by step instructions on using the lift (we all observed Covid awareness throughout). This stairlift has helped to lift my mum out of what has been a very difficult time for her, and I'm so pleased to have supported such a well deserving local company. Thanks again Murray, Graeme and Tony!
Robert Sloan
Robert Sloan
I would highly recommend Caltech Lifts as just installed a stair lift into my mothers home. From start to finish all those involved have been very professional, efficient, keeping us informed throughout the whole process. The installation was carried out to a high standard. Special thanks to Graeme and Tony
Henry Donaldson
Henry Donaldson
We recently had a problem with the lift in the care home myself and my wife run - our current service provider said we were going to have to spend £20,000 to upgrade the equipment so naturally I got a second price. To my absolute delight Caltech sent an engineer out to take details but also to spend a little time on the lift to which they managed to resolve the intermittent fault and it has now been running perfectly for 6 weeks!! Can't thank the team enough.
Brian J Kidd
Brian J Kidd
Super helpful. Great service and staff, highly recommend