'There seems to be more demand than there is space'

DOWNSIZING islanders and lockdown de-cluttering is driving a demand for storage, with one company opening up its third site to cope.

Nicholas Blakely, managing director of Guernsey Self Store, at its new building in the Forest, formerly occupied by window manufacturer Bredoyle. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29509393)
Nicholas Blakely, managing director of Guernsey Self Store, at its new building in the Forest, formerly occupied by window manufacturer Bredoyle. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29509393)

Guernsey Self Store already had two sites, one on Pitronnerie Road Industrial Estate on the outskirts of St Peter Port and one on the Braye Road Industrial Estate in St Sampson’s, but it now also has another in the Forest.

Managing director Nicholas Blakely said he had seen a steady growth in the storage industry.

‘We’ve opened a third building at the former Bredoyle site near the airport and people started moving their stuff in early March during phase two of the lockdown.

'People were absolutely desperate for somewhere to store their items, whether that be because they’re downsizing for the time being or taking advantage of the lockdown to de-clutter, they’re in between house moves or people using it like they would a shed or a garage.

'There seems to be more demand than there is space.’

Among the other storage companies in the island there is 7Day Self Store, which is in Pitronnerie Road Industrial Estate, Guilberts Self Storage, Brock Self Storage and Relocations Worldwide.

Guernsey Self Store opened its first site in 2009 in St Sampson’s, and it opened another in Pitronnerie Road in 2013.

‘When we opened the second site we thought that would be enough and didn’t envisage much more storage demand than there was,’ he said.

‘Since then I’m aware of more places that have opened, new companies and others that have expanded and we have opened a third building now.

We didn’t really predict it. We’ve added another 200 rooms with the new site to the 400 already but I wouldn’t rule a fourth place out.’

The lack of storage in some new build properties has caused people to look elsewhere to store their items.

7Day Self Store has also been very busy.

Sarah Corbin, one of the directors of 7 Day Shop, said they had been considering expanding because as soon as a space becomes available it is filled by someone else.

‘It’s been crazy,’ she said.

‘The housing market has gone bonkers and as people have gone to live with members of their family, things have had to go into storage.’

She added that because there is a shortage of housing stock, some people are selling their homes and going into temporary rented accommodation, meaning they need storage.

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