Cornish Cottage Holidays. A case study

‘Before moving everything had been a compromise. From cables across desks to hitting your head when you went to get a print out. Moving into this building has invigorated the team to look forward to future expansion.’ Nigel Pickin, Proprietor Cornish Cottage Holidays

5 minutes with Nigel...

Tell us a little about your company…

Cornish Cottage Holidays is a family run self catering company with over 40 years experience in Cornwall. We pride ourselves on our reputation for providing a broad range of quality properties, and our excellent customer service for both property owners and guests.

Nigel and Ann Pickin

Why did you choose 2013 to make the move to new premises?

Helston had worked tremendously well for us, the company was founded there by my wife’s grandparents and about 10 years ago my wife Ann and I took over. The company was based in an old dairy and to be fair it had served its purpose and by 2007 we had made the decision that we should move.

What were you looking for when you were thinking about moving?

Our old building had been a dairy, a shop and then our office. It was an office in name but it didn’t really feel like an office environment. Due to the thickness of the walls even wireless didn’t really work and it just wasn’t set up infrastructure wise for modern working. Coupled with our expansion in the market we had jumped from around 230 properties on our books to around 620, we felt it was time to move.

It must have been hard to move?

Yes. It was a long process, not only did the business have its roots in Helston; Ann’s parents lived next door. Plus we had our staff to think about, they had grown with the business and all had connections to the local area.

Inside the office at Barncoose

Tell us about the decision to move to the Redruth area…

We needed to be near the A30 and my initial preference was somewhere around Truro. After consultation with the team we

decided it was too far, so in effect it gave us a 15 minute radius from Helston to work in. Once we had found this development things started to happen very quickly

So you have moved into a new three story building here at Barncoose, so it’s quite different from the dairy?!

Yes! It has a very modern feel and after being in a traditional building it feels fresh. Before moving our work environment had been a compromise, from cables across desks, to hitting your head when you went to get a print out. Moving into this building has invigorated the team and I am very pleased to say we have

retained all the original employees and since moving here we have recruited another two members of staff.

The location is quite different…

We are visible, but it’s a different kind of visible compared to our old Helston site. We are on the estate but the phone still rings with new people that have noticed us since being here and want to know more about us. Moving to the estate means we have also cut that 15 minute journey to the A30. It enables our employees to move around Cornwall more easily. As a company we have always been quite innovative. We employ an in house electrician, plumber and handy man, the employment costs of these people are quite high to us but it’s another layer of service we can offer our clients. In the last ten years we have neveradvertised, as soon as potential owners find us they find moving over to us is a no brainer.

The outside of the office at Barncoose

How is the building working for you?

Obviously everything is new which is great, but with new things, especially buildings, you get snags. When we moved in during August it was very warm and now since the weather has become cooler the building can be a little cold. We are working with the developer to work these snags out. One of the key aspects to the move was for everyone to be together, so a building with open spaces was very important. Noise levels can be quite high but that’s because we encourage conversations so everyone can bounce ideas and queries off each other.

Are you quite involved with the group atmosphere?

We get a massive return from the expertise our staff can offer. From guest questions about dog friendly beaches, to favourite restaurants, our employees, especially the front line staff get asked hundreds of things every week. To keep in the loop a senior member of the management staff will do a day a week on the phones, I think it is important that we listen to what the owners and guests have to say and to keep us grounded. Also it puts realistic limitations to our expectations as the front line is extremely busy, it is very valuable to see how we can improve.

You have taken a big space here, and the third floor is yet to be filled, you must have some big plans?

We have a housekeeping aspect to our business which we see as very important to our long term growth. We plan to expand our design and software elements and perhaps carve them off as subsidies to fill the extra space. These entrepreneurial ideas will become quite large parts of the business in the next 3-5 years as we continue to fill the space.

Cornish Cottage Holidays

Find out more: 

For more information on availability of units at Barncoose Gateway or throughout

Cornwall and Devon contact Rob at Miller Commercial on 01872 247013.

For more information on availability of units at Barncoose Gateway or throughout

Cornwall contact the developer


Barncoose Gateway Development

ERDF Investment £6,615,522

Practical Developments Ltd £6,794,198

6 mixed use units at the entrance of Barncoose Industrial Estate close to the A3047 & A30 at Avers Junction.


Tuesday 10 December 2013