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North-East firm secures win on £1 billion project

A Durham manufacturer has been named cable supplier of choice for the £1 billion redevelopment of a striking London heritage site.

Apex Wiring Solutions has designed and manufactured a total modular wiring system for the restoration of the Whiteleys site, a key element of the Queensway regeneration project in the heart of the capital.

The Durham modular wiring manufacturer will deliver over 20,000 components using over 100,000mts of cable to the project, which will create a retail, leisure and hotel development in the eye-catching Whiteleys building.

The project has been designed to protect the site’s heritage and enhance the retail offer, while also creating a pedestrian-friendly area in the Queensway. The plan also provides residential accommodation – a mix of apartments and townhouses – and new local amenities including a cinema and a variety of restaurants.

Apex Wiring Solutions Sales Director, Paul Hopps, said: “Apex has spent two decades building an excellent reputation for delivering bespoke, tailored modular wiring systems for major London regeneration schemes, and Whiteleys is another exciting project in this area.

“Developers love that our product arrives on site, ready-cut, with near-zero waste and is designed around our fundamental “plug and play” principles of safety, simplicity and speed – it is simply the most effective way to wire a building.”

Modular wiring replaces traditional “twin and earth” systems. Apex Wiring Solution’s products and components – wire, switches, sockets etc. – all simply “plug-in” to each other, reducing install times, manhours and improving on-site safety.

“It is fantastic to see industry and in particular the construction sector returning to something like normality,” added Paul. “Like Apex, very few of these large projects experienced any downtime during the pandemic, but there has definitely been added impetus over the last couple of months as the UK strives to bounce back economically.

“It is also great to see firms buying British. With the issues we are seeing with raw material cost increases and shortages in specific areas, many companies are looking for domestic solutions to supply issues and as Apex products are designed, developed and manufactured right here at our Durham headquarters, supply is not an issue for us.”

The restoration of Whiteleys will ensure the building is, once again, positioned at the heart of Bayswater, London. The building’s façade will be protected and restored, with the shopping mall transformed for new shops, cafés and restaurants and new courtyard.

Whiteleys is named after visionary entrepreneur, William Whiteley, who in 1863 opened his first ‘Fancy Goods’ shop in Westbourne Grove. A decade later he bought more stores, pursuing a dream of a store selling almost everything…the modern department store.

By 1890, more than 6000 staff were employed in his business. His sons continued to build the business after his death in 1907, with the colonnaded façade that still dominates the Bayswater scene today completed in 1925. The building is Grade II listed.

The Apex Group of businesses last year marked its 40th year in Durham. The Group is made up of Apex Wiring Solutions, Artech Lighting and Apex Core, which manufactures prefabricated utility cupboards. It currently employs around 100 people.