0800 169 5151


With their headquarters in Leicester, Cromwell is Europe’s largest privately owned industrial tools distributor.


Founded in 1970 by Michael Gregory, the company is unique in having 67 distribution centres worldwide, as well as 4 specialist companies and an export division operating in 44 countries and 5 continents.


The company is supported by a team of ‘time-served’ sales engineers in each region, including global product research, a product analysis unit and a team studying production methods worldwide. A daily inter-company delivery system enables rapid access to products, services and information.


With over 1,800 employees, the company has annual sales in excess of £220 million and a product portfolio covering 12 commodity categories. It was identified in late 2010 that as Cromwell was experiencing rapid growth and development, additional space to store bulk stocks was going to be required. After a three-month search across the Leicestershire area, the business purchased a 165,000 sq ft warehouse facility. The new warehouse, known as a Bulk Receiving Centre (BRC), is located five miles from their World Distribution Centre in Whetstone.


The Brief


A number of companies submitted tenders for the installation works for new racking, a sprinkler and lighting system and also for the Manual Handling Equipment (MHE) needed for the site. Following the tender process, contracts were awarded to Link 51 for the racking, sprinkler and lighting system installations and Linde Creighton for the MHE. Link 51 was to undertake principal contractor responsibilities, including CDM management.


To store approximately £11m of stock, the capacity of the newly acquired warehouse was to comprise of 18,500 high bay pallet locations.


The warehouse operation would be staffed by 15 staff, manning three VNA, three counterbalance and three ride-on trucks.


The Solution

Link 51’s initial task was to dismantle and remove remnants of the former racking installation. Thereafter and subject to detailed planning specifications drawn up by Cromwell, an eight-week installation programme progressed.

  • Maximising the use of the available storage space, the racking installation included 32 aisles of high bay VNA racking, extending to over 90 metres in length and rising to a height of 11.6 metres.
  • The racking installation could store pallet sizes of 1,200 x 1,350 mm and up to 1,000kg in weight.
  • All racking elevations included in-rack sprinkler systems, fixed at four points at varying heights per elevation.
  • Link 51 also supplied an energy-saving, ‘eco-friendly’ lighting system, utilising ‘daylight dimming’ and ‘occupancy sensor’ technology. This means that the lighting only comes on in any aisle when the sensors are activated by movement and the intensity of the lighting automatically adjusts when daylight is present. As a result, savings in running costs can be achieved because overall power consumption is reduced.

The works, which started in mid-November 2011 were completed ahead of schedule in February 2012.


The next phase of the project was to co-ordinate the move of some 13,000 pallets or 500 lorry loads of stock into the new warehouse, which was stored in various third-party logistics companies and other off-site warehouses.


By using Link 51, Cromwell benefited from:

  • UK-based in-house manufacturing capability
  • Fully managed marketing-leading storage solutions
  • Extensive project management expertise
  • Substantial knowledge and experience
  • High-quality product range combining strength, durability and operational reliability

“Link 51 were meticulous in their planning and kept us fully up-to-date with progress on the installation throughout the 8-week period. They provided a highly polished performance, were friendly to deal with and we were able to commission the works ahead of schedule, which was a bonus.”


Antony Moseley, Logistics Manager – Cromwell


For more information on any of the products specified for Cromwell  please call us on 0800 169 5151.

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