Strengthened by four decades in the pool industry, Bell Leisure has firmly established itself as one of the leading swimming pool companies in the heart of Sussex. With a reputation for high quality pool design, builds and renovations, the friendly team behind the company is what makes Bell Leisure stand out from the crowd.
“We try to do everything with smiles on our faces”, says Co-owner Lawrence Pearce. “We understand the value of good customer service and try not to take ourselves too seriously.” Specialising in domestic installations and renovations, a significant part of Bell Leisure’s workload is made up of servicing and maintenance contracts, for both the residential and commercial sectors.
“Residential projects and servicing is still our bread and butter, but the commercial side of the business does seem to be picking pace and we are increasingly taking on commercial maintenance jobs,” says Lawrence. He continues: “All of our work comes through recommendations and word of mouth. We’re fortunate enough that we don’t do any kind of advertising as our customers pretty much do the talking for us. Our well-presented and relevant website does help with new business and for displaying products.”
The company was formed by the late Malcolm McMichael in 1975. Malcolm sadly passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer. In 2012 four long-standing Bell Leisure directors completed a management buyout. Today, each of the four coowners oversees a different area of the business to maintain the high standards set my Malcolm from the beginning.
Steve Goldsmith heads up the new pool installation and refurbishment projects, while Adam Palmer oversees the technical aspects and plantrooms, as well as commercial installations. Paul McMichael is in charge of the regular maintenance and service contracts and Lawrence Pearce works across all areas of the business in an office-based management role. “Prior to the buyout, all four of us had worked for Malcolm for in excess of 20 years and we have carried on his blueprint” explains Lawrence.
“We will always maintain the successful business values that Malcolm established, but we also like to keep pushing forward to improve. There’s certainly no standing still at Bell Leisure.” The directors are supported by a loyal team of nine, including engineers and office staff. Two of the engineers, Peter Goldsmith and Connor Leeding, started out as apprentices, undertaking a part-time college course combined with hands-on practical experience at Bell Leisure. Both are now about to complete their college courses and have become full-time members of the team.
“Our decision to take on two apprentices was about investing in the company’s future and bringing in new people with fresh ideas and perspectives,” says Lawrence. “For youngsters wishing to enter the industry there is very little in terms of training or qualifications, which prompted us to take on our own trainees. “Both Peter and Connor have been with us for four years now and have really flourished.
The experience has been a success for them and for us as a company. In fact, just last month we took on another apprentice in the hope that he will follow in their footsteps.” Lawrence adds: “For the industry to continue to grow, we need to make sure the right people are coming through and have enough support to establish their careers within it.”
The Bell Leisure team is currently working on a number of residential projects including a 16m x 6m new build concrete pool with Waxman glass mosaics, as well as a swimming pool project in East Sussex featuring an OASE automatic solar slatted cover, two Calorex air source heat pumps and ATG UV water clarification.
Current commercial projects include the renovation of a pool at Arundel Castle and the installation of a fully tiled overflow commercial spa at the prestigious Bailiffs Court Hotel. “We work with a number of suppliers, but our four key partners are Certikin, SCP and OASE, who we have long-standing relationships with,” say Lawrence. “Key influencers on the business have included the late Ray Burt of SCP. We must also mention David Mathers, Patrick Thorpe, Tim Bareham and Frederik Claeys, all of whom we look up to and often turn to for industry advice.”
Tel. 01903 892040