Sandra Martin, the Deputy Director for the Department for International Trade was the Guest of Honour at the official opening of the doors of our new offices in Nantwich, Cheshire this week. This new office on the company’s 15th anniversary illustrates the significant changes as a result of the Department’s support for us, which includes a 400% increase in turnover, opening an office in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and creating employment opportunities both in Nantwich and Newcastle for young disabled people. When we look back over our decade and a half existence, we are both amazed and proud to have stretched our influence as a firm from local to national to global.
The Department for International Trade is the Government department tasked with assisting British companies who wish to export and encouraging inward investment. They provide a range of training and grant-funded programmes to support companies both new and experienced in exporting to achieve their goals. Direct Access benefited from these programmes and continues to do so, from support to attend meetings and network at exhibitions.
“This new office is a major step forward for Direct Access,” said Director Steven Mifsud. “It enables us to provide support to our front line teams working to improve access for disabled people in the Middle East, Europe, and America as well as closer to home in the UK.”
Opening a new office has made us reflect on what we have achieved since our inception in 2004. Some of our early accessible design projects in the UK include the refurbishment of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and Victoria Square retail. We have also managed hotel and residential development in Woking as well as Virgin Trains, Eurostar and York Racecourse. More recently alongside Virgin Trains, we created a quiet room for people with Autism at Crewe Station, dubbed the ‘Calm Corner’, it is the first of its kind on the UK railway network.
Over in the UAE, along with Dubai Expo2020, Direct Access has already worked with Nando’s restaurant chains and a number of Embassies to comply with the Dubai Universal Design Code. In opening doors to this new office, we aim to continue this string of successes to create employment opportunities for disabled people in service of our mission statement; to create accessible environments for everyone.