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Cosy to leave a lasting legacy in Derby as it prepares to move into its new £2m home

Cosy to leave a lasting legacy in Derby as it prepares to move into its new £2m home

A Derby company which sells ethical educational outdoor play equipment to schools and nurseries is looking forward to opening an exciting new chapter as it prepares to move to a brand-new £2m warehouse on the outskirts of the county. 

Cosy Direct will leave its beloved current premises, The Chocolate Factory, in Siddalls Road – its home for the past five years – for a 45,000-square foot, specially adapted building set in two acres of land on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border near Tutbury. 

The new building, which will be called the Crater and will double the company’s current capacity, will have eco-friendly features including rainwater harvesting and solar panels and will boast a large green outdoors area complete with curved seating, a story circle and a fire pit. 

The move will also support Cosy, which last year posted an £8.4m turnover, as it sets out on an ambitious programme to grow by a further 50%, increase its export operation six-fold and increase its product range and supply network, which is made up predominantly of small local companies. 

Its former home, meanwhile, will be taken over by Bustler Market, Derby’s popular monthly indoor street food venue. 

Cosy Direct employs 80 people and was set up in 2011 by Peter Ellse, who wanted to establish an educational supplies company that was built along ethical lines, in order to promote a healthier learning culture for young children aged between 0 and eight years old. 

Cosy now supplies schools, LEAs and nurseries across the UK with thousands of items including climbing frames, reading shelters, story chairs and wooden counting blocks. 

It prides itself on its sustainable approach to business, with 87% of its products sourced from the UK in order to reduce air miles and its emphasis on reusing and reinventing end-of-life products such as rubber tyres, of which it sells 10,000 every year by transforming them into mirrors, grass-covered seating or whiteboard circles. 

Mr Ellse said:

“The Chocolate Factory has served us extremely well and it will be a wrench to leave but we’re excited about Crater’s Edge because it has double the capacity and will allow us to showcase what we are really about. 

“The move will also support our ambitious plans to grow our business, which have already started in earnest this year and will see us increase our operations levels, grow our export channels, add more depth to our board and grow our social media teams. 

“It’s an incredibly exciting time, but although we are leaving Derby in body, we are staying in spirit, by continuing to back charitable and community causes that are important to us, while we will also be leaving a few Cosy products behind in the Chocolate Factory for Bustler’s to make use of, as part of a lasting legacy.” 

Nick Walker, managing director of Cosy, said that it has taken the company 18 months to find its new premises, which is now undergoing substantial refurbishment ahead of Cosy’s relocation. 

He said:

“We’re indebted to the professional and expertise of our commercial property agents, CPP, and their director, Sean Bremner, in helping us to make this move. 

“That fact that we’ve undergone a thorough process of buy and radical rebuild is the result of the confidence that we have from working with a professional like Sean, who has helped us to see the sites potential. 

“We, and Derby, are lucky to have people like Sean.”

Cosy shares 10% of its profits every year with charities and community initiatives in Derby and abroad, including Derby Kids Camp, Derby Book Festival and the YMCA, as well as sponsoring five city children’s sports teams. 

Further afield, it has funded sports coaching in The Gambia and sponsored students in order to pay for their education in Kenya. 

It also rewards teachers that it works with by encouraging them to suggest new ideas for products and giving them a share of the royalties if they put their brainwave into production. 

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