Specialists in mobility find a new home here
A company which makes prosthetics and orthopaedic devices has taken on 16,000 sq ft of offices on the outskirts of Leicester.
Blatchford Clinical Services has leased the premises on the Meridian Business Park, Braunstone.
The office space will be converted into a specialist mobility service for the county, providing wheelchairs, prosthetics and inserts, as well as supports and specialist shoes for NHS patients in the region.
As well as expanding in the UK, the company is also growing internationally, in countries such as the USA, Germany and India.
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Blatchford also runs Headley Court in Surrey, which provides clinical rehabilitation for injured servicemen returning from Afghanistan or other operation tours.
One of the main services provided in Leicestershire will be supplying wheelchairs, with a team of occupational therapists and rehabilitation engineers.
There will also be a prosthetic service, with clinical professionals supported by a workshop staffed by prosthetic and rehabilitation technicians, putting together artificial limbs, braces, shoes and other appliances for patients.
This service is currently run from the Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary, but will move to Meridian later this year.
Graham Jackson, senior project manager for Blatchford Clinical Services, said: "The old building and accommodation at Leicester General and Leicester Royal Infirmary are no longer large enough or sufficient for the NHS's expanding services, which cater for the whole of Leicestershire.
"We had been looking for somewhere new for over a year, as we and the NHS had quite specific requirements. We did find an alternative space, but it fell through during the planning stage because of new flooding regulations."
The deal was completed by Innes England for the landlord Avenue Investments.
Mr Jackson praised Steve Scott of Innes England for finding the site at 17A Meridian East.
He said it was the ideal site to convert into a clinic for the new service. He said: "It provides all the space and parking that our patients deserve.
"We were looking for a suitable sized building with modern services such as air conditioning, easy to find and with sufficient free parking available for our patients. We also needed somewhere that was near-Disability Discrimination Act compliant, so we could easily alter it to become Leicester's specialist mobility centre, and that's just what he found.
"The building does require some adjustments and alterations for us prior to our move, as we need to convert the open plan offices into 12 clinic rooms, a workshop, training room, stores and offices. We will be fully operational by autumn this year."
Steve Scott (pictured), of Innes England, said: "Blatchford had fairly specific requirements, and we wanted to make sure we could find them the right location and facilities.
"Meridian East is a high specification development, and ticks all the boxes for Blatchford.
"They now have quite a bit of flexibility to turn the site into the clinical space they need.
"The office market in this area has been difficult over the last year, and a letting of this size is great news for the city, particularly as this was an off market deal."