A FURNITURE firm has helped to create a plush new northern base for an internationally-renowned watchmaker.

Bevlan Office Interiors, based in Rishton, has recently completed the creation of Raymond Weil’s new offices in Manchester city centre.

The firm, which has 12 employees, fitted out a 322 sq metre space to provide a reception area, boardroom, executive offices, an open-plan office space, a technical area for watchmakers and a kitchen area alongside interior designers Altitude Interiors in Longridge.

Brand director Craig Leach said he came across the firm as he was trawling the internet late one Sunday night.

Bevlan boss Mrs Bev Mercer said: “I’m always excited when I see new enquiries coming in, so like to respond straight away.

“I hadn’t realised this one was from Raymond Weil until I looked again the next morning, so I was delighted to have been contacted by such a prestigious company.

“It’s a very big contract for us and we have another in the pipeline. We get a lot of business that way and it’s testament to the service we provide.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us and I am just thrilled that Craig is pleased with what we have delivered for him.”

Mr Leach said: “We have had a UK presence for many years via our distributors in Surrey, but we want to grow our business here and decided the time had come to strike out on our own.

“I initially looked at offices in London but realised that Manchester is a vibrant city, with lots of prestigious office space at far more competitive rates. It is also the home to the British School of Watchmakers.

“Having chosen our space, I was looking online for potential office furniture providers and fired off a few initial email enquiries.

“I was astonished to receive a response from Bev (Mercer) almost by return and impressed by her enthusiasm and willingness to help.

“She introduced me to other suppliers who could partition the offices and provide flooring. It was just totally refreshing to deal with someone like that and it has been a pleasure working with her.”

Bevlan has provided traditional boardroom furniture, with walnut veneers and black leather and chrome chairs, with the same traditional approach in reception, whilst the rest of the space has a more modern feel, using walnut desks with white frames.

When completed, the new premises will accommodate up to 25 staff, including specialist watchmakers, sales and after-sales teams and marketing.

The firm is also planning on creating apprenticeships for fledgling watchmakers once the business officially transfers north on July 1.

Mr Leach added: “It was clear from working with Bev that her business values are very much in tune with ours.”