WORK has started to expand a 200-year-old York business.

As The Press reported at the time, JH Shouksmith was given the green-light last year to expand its Osbaldwick headquarters after a vote by councillors.

The Building services engineering firm sought permission to replace existing office, warehouse and storage buildings that are prefabricated and more than 50-years-old.

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Now work has got underway on site and, once complete, the three-story office building will be accessed via Murton Lane, while a pair of two-storey light industrial buildings will have a separate access from Outgang Lane to the north.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Artium Construction’s Managing Director, Martin Watson said: "Artium Construction have been privileged enough to engage early and support Shouksmith Properties team with driving the design and procurement forward in anticipation of this significant milestone. We look forward to delivering this development and creating local employment and supply chain opportunities along the way."

David Shouksmith is the seventh generation of the family to run the business, which was founded in the city in 1820.

He told councillors last year: "The current office has served the business well for over 50 years, however it is starting to become extremely dated and is coming to the end of its lifespan.

“The office and the industrial unit behind it are not environmentally friendly and has a very poor energy efficiency rating. In this current climate, we cannot afford to continue to operate buildings such as this.

“The time has come and we are in a position to be able to redevelop the front of Osbaldwick industrial estate, to replace our offices and allow the business to progress.”

Shouksmith employees working on a projectShouksmith employees working on a project

The company has over 70 staff based in York and Leeds. It had an annual turnover of around £12 million in 2021 and this is forecast to increase to £17 million in the next few years, meaning the company needs more staff.

A spokesman for Shouksmith said today: "We are delighted to be working with Artium Construction Limited, who have taken the concept to the next level with our incumbent team in readiness for this long-awaited milestone.

"We look forward to the next part of the journey and are very excited about our new HQ and estate expansion at Murton Way."

There will be 40 car parking spaces and 22 bicycle parking spaces provided at the new office, with 26 car parking spaces and 20 cycle spaces provided for the industrial units.

York has a recognised shortage of industrial units and some of the new office space will be rented out to start-ups or companies wanting to expand.

The 6 million pound development is due for completion next Summer.

How the new Shouksmith building will lookHow the new Shouksmith building will look