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Office fit-out specialist COEL completes restructuring as it plots growth



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COEL, office design and fit-out specialist, has completed a restructuring and made changes to its board as it eyes major growth.

Coel new management structure, from left Dean Powell (CPMS), Kevin Claypole (CMS), Alistair Rumbelow, Neil Cook, Barnaby Clark - Jerry Overhill, Dan Brown, Kevin Elstub and Kate Deveraux. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6022127)
Coel new management structure, from left Dean Powell (CPMS), Kevin Claypole (CMS), Alistair Rumbelow, Neil Cook, Barnaby Clark - Jerry Overhill, Dan Brown, Kevin Elstub and Kate Deveraux. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6022127)

The Cambridge company is witnessing increasing demand for redesigns of office space in the city, where there is hot competition for commercial property, and is also spreading its wings into Oxford and other regions.

Group director Neil Cook told the Cambridge Independent: “COEL has been trading since 1986 when I launched the company as a sole trading subcontractor.

“Our family values have enabled us to grow to become the region’s principal office fit out contractor, which we are very proud of.

“We have recently launched an office in Oxford and are pushing into new regions from the new year. To support our continued growth we have restructured COEL and are very excited to announce three senior members to the board.”

COEL's fit-out of Stobbs. (6022130)
COEL's fit-out of Stobbs. (6022130)

The COEL group includes two subsidiaries - CPMS Cambridge, a heating and plumbing specialist, and CMS, which provides office furniture and a commercial relocation and storage service. Together the group aims to offer a full turnkey solution.

Among the trends witnessed by COEL is the switch to agile working, offering employees greater flexibility over where and when they work.

COEL completed a major fit-out of Bidwells in Cambridge to help it adopt the practice, as reported by the Cambridge Independent.

The creation of ‘collaborative’ eating spaces is also becoming increasingly popular.

“We’re adopting agile working ourselves,” said Neil. “And there is no eating lunch at desks now. It means you get to know people who you might otherwise not sit next to.”

As group director, Neil heads up the group, and Kate Deveraux has been promoted to group finance director.

COEL's fit-out of Frontline. (6022136)
COEL's fit-out of Frontline. (6022136)

Dan Brown has stepped up to become regional director, Barnaby Clark has become sales and marketing director and Alistair Rumbelow has been promoted to managing director of COEL.

Also on the board are operations director Jerry Overhill and commercial director Kevin Elstub. Kevin Claypole is the MD of CMS, and Dean Powell is the MD of CPMS.

Barnaby said in Cambridge a growing number of companies were reorganising their workspace, to work more smartly.

“We are working on more in-situ refurbishments,” he said, adding that the company saw itself as a partner for businesses as they adapted and changed.

“We are there for the life of the lease. We don’t finish the job and run.”

COEL's fit-out of Frontline. (6022133)
COEL's fit-out of Frontline. (6022133)

In this, COEL is supported by its property maintenance arm and its subsidiaries.

The group is also expanding its work on lab fit-outs, specialist work for which there is major demand in the country’s life science capital. Among its clients is breath biopsy pioneer Owlstone Medical, which amalgamated its two Cambridge Science Park labs into one space with COEL’s help.

Alistair said: “It was with great pleasure I accepted the new role of managing director of COEL, working under the new group director Neil Cook.

“Working for COEL over the last 15 years has been exciting seeing the company grow from strength to strength. COEL continues to grow and develop pushing boundaries in the office fit-out sector in local and regional markets.

“I am excited to see how COEL will develop over the next 15 years and looking forward to what the future will bring.”

COEL's fit-out of Ubisense. (6022139)
COEL's fit-out of Ubisense. (6022139)

Neil added: “Although COEL will always have its heart in Cambridge, it is inevitable that we will need to explore new markets to achieve continued growth.

“Our restructure demonstrates COEL’s ongoing commitment to be an employer of choice, developing and nurturing talent from within the team.”

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