Hartshorne Group opens new energy-efficient HQ in Walsall

Volvo distributor unveils sustainable facility for future generations.

HARTSHORNE Group has opened a new energy-efficient HQ in Walsall on the site where the company has traded for almost 60 years.


The commercial vehicle distributor, which supplies and services Volvo trucks and buses throughout the Midlands, says the new facility will ensure its home location is sustainable for future generations.


The flagship depot in Bentley Mill Way was opened by Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks and Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director, Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland.


Hartshorne followed up the official opening ceremony by later hosting a customer event with a display of vintage trucks and modern energy-efficient vehicles. Also on display was the original Volvo P1800 sports car driven by Roger Moore in 60s TV series The Saint. 


The original depot was built in 1966 by local businessman Alfred T Hartshorne on the existing site, close to the newly constructed M6. However, the heritage of the business actually dates back to the 1920s when Alfred’s father set up a transport business using army-surplus lorries from the First World War.


James Cowen, Managing Director of Hartshorne said: “We're proud of our long association with the Midlands and we're pleased this will continue for many years to come. Our depot in Walsall has been operating since the 1960s and it has now undergone an incredible transformation that will ensure we can stay on the same site.


"We were delighted that the leadership of Volvo and some of our customers were able to join us at recent events. I'd like to thank everybody across the region and our staff, past and present, for their wonderful support over the years."


The new depot has been purpose built with sustainability in mind. It scored an A-rating for energy performance. It includes solar power generation, electric vehicle charging, and approximately one million cubic metres of water storage for flood prevention. Around 78% of demolition material from the old building was recycled, with zero sent to landfill. 


Mr Coolsaet said on behalf of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland: "This investment by Hartshorne Group has created a flagship dealership within one of the road transport heartlands of the UK. It’s ideally positioned and equipped to support both current and future generations of product, particularly as more fleets introduce zero tailpipe emission battery electric trucks.


“From a sustainability perspective, it sets the benchmark for a modern dealership and provides a fantastic working environment for the team, giving them the space and facilities to deliver a first class service to our customers."


Hartshorne has supported many hundreds of families with employment over subsequent generations and now operates nine depots throughout the Midlands; including major facilities at Alfreton, Birmingham, Burton, Nottingham, Potteries (Newcastle-under-Lyme) and Shrewsbury.




Early 1900s

E. Hartshorne, father of Alfred Hartshorne, sets up a transport business in Darlaston, using army surplus lorries. The company placed under control of the Ministry of War during the Second World War.



Alfred restarts the business after it is compulsorily purchased on two separate occasions. In 1966, he builds a depot on the existing site at Bentley Mill Lane, Walsall close to the newly constructed M6.



Hartshorne Motor Services Ltd is incorporated - making use of Alfred's old workshops after he retires. The company is one of the first 12 Volvo dealerships in the UK.



Hartshorne adds further depots at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Shrewsbury, Burton, Nottingham, Alfreton and Birmingham. The company is now a thriving business, serving the needs of hauliers across the region.



Hartshorne undertakes a project to demolish its original home in Bentley Mill Way in Walsall - and replaces it with today's energy-efficient depot on the same site.




Editor's Notes:


Hartshorne Walsall is set in 3.5 acres and includes a drive-through seven double-bay workshop, complete with Automated Test Lane for onsite vehicle MOTs. Operating hours are 6am-10pm on Mondays. Around the clock from 6am on a Tuesday until 2pm on Saturday.