The handicraft of Inglis Hall, Lewes

Several years after receiving £46k through the East Sussex Invest Fund, we revisit bespoke kitchen manufacturer Inglis Hall to discover how they have continued to build up the business, despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve lived in Lewes all my life. It is full of a broad spectrum of interesting, artistic and creative people, it’s a fantastic place to run a business like ours and offers a great supply chain locally”

Toby HallDirector

Inglis Hall

Case Study
Creative/ Manufacturing

Based in North Street, Lewes, Inglis Hall, has been creating beautifully bespoke, sustainable, and functional kitchens since 2013. Since training from the age of 16 at a cabinet-making college, founder, Toby Hall has worked with some of the country’s most talented craftsmen. The ethos behind Inglis is creating a space that fits each family perfectly, a hub for preparing, cooking and entertaining that becomes the focal point of any home. With a deep understanding of how a person’s surroundings can positively influence their behaviour, Inglis Hall offers a personalised service from concept to installation, designed completely from scratch to enhance day-to-day life.

“The kitchen is one of the most major design elements in a house, but it is also one of the biggest design challenges. It’s a dark art, blending domestic and professional kitchen styles to create a space where everything you need for a task within arm’s length”

Toby Hall, Director

Something that jumps out at you as you visit the showroom or see the team hard at work in the workshop is the attention to detail given to each and every element made. From the oak veneered solid birch ply carcasses, to the detailed edging of a cupboard door, it is clearly visible the effort and skill needed to produce the final product. Purchasing an Inglis Hall kitchen isn’t a transaction, it’s an experience.

Inglis Hall, Lewes
Inglis Hall, Lewes
Inglis Hall, Lewes
Inglis Hall, Lewes

“Ordering a bespoke kitchen is a journey. It’s time takes time and effort. We want our customers to really enjoy the experience, and that’s why we limit the amount of orders we will take in a period. It isn’t about volume for us, it’s about producing a quality, well designed kitchen for our customers.”

Toby Hall, Director

Being based in Lewes has been ideal for Inglis Hall. With an average order value of £75k, their customer base can be found in abundance, in surrounding satellite villages, South Eastern towns and in nearby London. Having built up a excellent reputation, they have found the majority of their custom comes from within 30 miles of their base, but with word of mouth referrals being strong, they have been able to reach as far as Scotland!

“I’ve lived in Lewes all my life. It is full of a broad spectrum of interesting, artistic and creative people, it’s a fantastic place to run a business like ours and offers a great supply chain locally”

Toby Hall, Director

Approaching Locate East Sussex back in 2018, Inglis Hall were looking to scale up their production, employing more staff and purchasing some new machinery. With an East Sussex Invest (ESI5) loan of £30k and a non-repayable grant of £16k it has been able to achieve those plans and take the business forward. East Sussex Invest fund (ESI) is an East Sussex County Council and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme delivered by East Sussex County Council in partnership with Locate East Sussex. The fund offers grants and loans for capital investment to stimulate business growth and job creation in the county. The funds provided to Inglis Hall were used to purchase a new extraction system, an edge bander for creating clean edges, and a 4-sided planer, all making conditions much safer for the team and also shaving valuable time off production schedules. These much desired improvements help them to increase their turnover from £1m to £1.3m.

Where are they now?

Now in a larger workspace of 7000 sq.ft (from 1500 sq.ft), Inglis Hall employs 12 staff, and are looking to increase that team even further. Finding qualified candidates can sometimes be difficult, but Inglis Hall have historically trained from the ground up, hiring apprentices who can be taught the skills required, who turn into longstanding, loyal employees.

The last two years have brought about challenges, including a period of closure, but it seems the home improvements market is buoyant, resulting in Inglis Halls roster already getting full late into the year.

“Covid has meant that the home improvements market has blossomed, due to people spending increased time at home. Kitchens traditionally take a long time to plan, even as long as a couple of years, from thinking about it to taking action, but covid has shortened that, people now don’t want to wait.”

Toby Hall, Director

Now looking to move premises within the next 18 months, it seems Inglis Hall’s only direction is up, as their product continues to speak for itself, and the referrals keep flying in. But at the heart of it all, will always be the desire to provide a space that can be enjoyed by all forever.

“No matter how much we grow, we will only ever take on the orders that we know we can fulfil to the high standard that we set for ourselves. We would never want customer experience or quality to suffer. Our kitchens are built to last a lifetime. Durability and timeless design are both woven into our process, ensuring your Inglis Hall kitchen will be a thing of beauty for many years to come.”

Toby Hall, Director

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