Aerial mapping company Bluesky is celebrating its twenty first year of trading with the purchase of the historic Railway Station in the Leicestershire market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The Neoclassical building, complete with side pavilions and Doric columns, was originally opened as a station in 1849 by the Midland Railway, but was eventually closed by British Railways in 1964. The recently refurbished Station will house Bluesky’s sales, marketing and technical teams as well as its research and development function.
“Despite being a high tech company, Bluesky is very familiar with historic landmark buildings,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, co-founder and Managing Director of the company. “An early incarnation of Bluesky started life in the nearby Hugglescote Reading Rooms before spending 19 years in the old Palitoy toy factory just down the road in Coalville. However, as we celebrate twenty one years of trading, we felt it was time to purchase our own home.”
Ashby was considered a fashionable spa town during the Regency period. It was the chief town in north-west Leicestershire and is now a thriving market community with a concentration of high tech employers like Bluesky. Ashby is well connected with easy access to the main motorway networks and is close to Bluesky’s main flying base at the nearby East Midlands Airport. A Grade II* listed building the Station echoes earlier buildings in the area such as the Grecian baths and the Royal Hotel.
“We are very excited by the opportunities this building presents and, while previous occupants have restored large parts of the building, there are areas, such as the underground bunkers, that have been untouched for decades,” continued Tidmarsh. “The combination of high tech business and listed architecture has been challenging but is extremely rewarding and, as custodians of this magnificent building, we look forward to bringing it back to its former glory.”
Bluesky is expert in the capture of remotely sensed data and the production of innovative geographic data products. Bluesky launched to market the first ever detailed National Tree Map, is leading a Government funded project to investigate the potential of mobile phones for capturing accurate 3D spatial information, and has a joint venture company with the University of Leicester – working to develop solutions for air quality mapping. In addition, Bluesky is a supplier of geographic data to UK Central Government organisations under the multi-million pound (APGB) contract.