Fareham laundry specialists look to clean up after merger

Sales director James Holmes and managing director Peter Hosking at Solent Laundry Solutions Ltd (SLS) based in Segensworth, which has now merged with two companies to become Wash Co. Picture: Sarah Standing (210319-2598)
Sales director James Holmes and managing director Peter Hosking at Solent Laundry Solutions Ltd (SLS) based in Segensworth, which has now merged with two companies to become Wash Co. Picture: Sarah Standing (210319-2598)
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A LAUNDRY business has grown significantly after merging with two other companies.

Solent Laundry Solutions, in Segensworth, has merged with Hughes Pro and Armstrong Laundry to create Wash Co – which is the second largest commercial laundry specialist in the UK.

Back in March, SLS reported to have a £4m turnover and 21 staff, which it built over seven years in business.

Now, in just three months since the merger, this has risen to a £17m turnover and 97 staff. 

The company now has six bases – in Newbury, Rochester, Norwich, Leicester and Glasgow, as well as Segensworth – and is planning to open another soon in Leeds. 

Armstrong Laundry, which was bought by Hughes Pro in 2018, is a 130-year-old business, which specialises in industrial and household laundry equpiment who have around 35 stores across the UK. 

Hughes Pro is the commercial laundry arm of Hughes Electrical Ltd, a family-owned and managed business founded in Lowestoft in 1921. Hughes Pro, which was launched in 2012, provides services for the care, hospitality and educational sectors by supplying, installing, servicing and repairing a range of specialist washing machines and dryers.

Co-owners of SLS Peter Hosking, who is now the managing director at Wash Co and James Holmes, who is now sales director at Wash Co met while working for the same company before their business venture. 

The business started after the two went for a beer in Southampton after work one day and decided that they would start up their own business.

When the company that they worked for found out about their plans they had no choice but to work hard and go ahead with it. 

Now Peter says he wouldn’t look back. 

He said: ‘It has turned into a bit of a journey. We started with no money, no capital, we started with nothing and now we’re here.

‘James is my man-wife. We’re pretty good at arguing but we’re also good at going out, working hard and partying hard.’