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A photo showing the front of the Proactive business in its new location

Monday, 23 January 2023

Proactive move as first high street business relocates in Oakengates

Proactive Personnel Ltd is set to become the first business to relocate in Oakengates as part of a government-funded project to transform the town centre.

The business is vacating its current unit on Limes Walk on 31 January and reopening a new Oakengates town centre base in the former Barclays Bank building at 34 Market Square on 1 February.

This move will enable Proactive Personnel to enhance and expand current business operations and reconfigure its sales function at the new premises.

The move is the second relocation of the year for the recruitment business, with its head office having relocated to Hadley Park East in earlier this month.

The former Barclays Bank unit has been vacant since April 2020 and Telford & Wrekin Council has invested into the building as part of the Towns Fund project to ensure a smooth transition for Proactive Personnel.

In addition, Proactive Personnel has also received a considerable sum through the council’s popular Pride in Our High Street programme to carry out building adaptation work in preparation for the move.

The building is a landmark premises in the town and Proactive Personnel moving in will improve the look and feel of Oakengates high street overall.

Pride in Our High Street supports new and existing businesses on the high street through a series of revive and thrive grants.

The grants help them to launch on the high street through start-up and trial start-up grants, become more eco-friendly and reduce their energy costs with the support of eco grants and improve their shop frontages and appearance through façade grants.

A series of Oakengates businesses have already benefited from revive and thrive grants including Christine’s Florist, Gems, Just Jackie Florists, and Kings Menswear.

In addition, more work is being done to maximise the use of free local parking in Oakengates to support businesses and local residents.

Staff at Proactive Personnel have welcomed the move to a bigger office space which will enable the business to capitalise on new opportunities for growth.

Kevin Humphreys, General Manager at Proactive Personnel, said: “We have a very strong association with Oakengates because Proactive Personnel was founded in the town 23 years ago.

“It’s therefore important to us to retain a town centre presence, enabling our candidates and clients to continue to benefit from our team of highly skilled, locally based staff.”

Plans for the town centre redevelopment programme, which include 14 refurbished retail units, a new public space to host events and activities, as well as an outdoor market, were drawn up after input from businesses, local residents and visitors to the High Street.

The proposals, which will go to Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning committee, aim to transform Limes Walk in Oakengates - creating a welcoming place for residents and visitors, boosting footfall and encouraging people to stay longer in the town.

Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street said: “After considerable consultation with those businesses impacted by the new proposals, it’s pleasing to see that Proactive Personnel are embracing the move to Market Square and become the first business to relocate.

“The former Barclays Bank building has provided an excellent and very viable alternative for the business and opened up an opportunity for growth which staff seem determined to grasp with both hands.

“We will continue to work with and support all businesses impacted by the proposals so they can remain within Oakengates, working with every business on a case-by-case basis to meet their needs.

“As well as support from the Towns Fund project, further financial support is also available through our Pride in Our High Street programme.”

Sarah Williams, from Oakengates’ Chamber of Trade, said: “We remain proactively engaged with the council on the Oakengates town centre proposals and welcome Proactive Personnel’s move into a long term vacant unit.

“We are pleased to see Proactive Personnel retain a base within Oakengates which highlights its commitment to the town.”

You can find out more about the vision for Oakengates town centre regeneration online, alongside a series of FAQs that have been created as part of the consultation process completed in June 2022. 

The planning submission can be viewed on the planning portal (TWC/2022/0924).