Shortridge Laundry has been voted the UK’s Best Independent Laundry, 2017. A remarkable achievement for the company in a year in which they suffered a devastating fire. The award is testimony to not just the quality of the sheets, towels and workwear, and the operational service provided, but also to the calibre of the management and commitment of their staff.

Shortridge supplies over 1,800 customers, ranging from family-run B&Bs to the best 5-star hotels in the country, including The 9th Most Luxurious Hotel in the World in County Durham*, The Best B&B in the World* in Yorkshire and Britain’s Best Restaurant* in Cumbria. They also provide a workwear service to industries including those specialising in food production, engineering and the motor trade.

The award recognises that Shortridge really do deliver on their mission to provide the very best possible laundry. Every year, they invest around £1m in new linen and towels, sourcing them from the best manufacturers around the world. This is appreciated by their clients’ customers: hotel guest expectations rise inexorably, and Shortridge’s range keeps pace with that.

The two Shortridge laundries have had constant major investment in state-of-the-art washers, dryers and ironers to ensure the best ‘clean and finish’ and, importantly, to maximise efficiency – which leads to reliability, an essential component of a commercial laundry service.

In March this year, a major fire closed their Dumfries laundry though. No-one was injured. However, there was a real risk of an interruption of their service to customers.

Thanks to a pre-prepared crisis management disaster contingency plan, production was moved, overnight, to their Workington factory which switched to 24/7 operations, maintaining service to the customers of both sites. Staff from Dumfries were transferred to Workington to work night shifts as well.

Soiled linen was transported to Workington on a daily basis, clean linen returned to be packed and distributed from temporary premises in Dumfries.

Huge volumes of new linen stock were purchased to ensure maintenance of supply to customers.

Additional premises were rented in Dumfries, on a short-term basis, and a temporary laundry set up to allow production to be brought back from Workington.

At the same time, plans were developed to re-design, re-build and re-equip Shortridge`s original Dumfries factory, and this will open early in 2018.

Thanks to the support of their loyal customers and dedication of their staff dealing with an extremely challenging situation, it is a tribute to all concerned that in the face of what could have been a catastrophe, not only has the business continued to thrive, and new business obtained, but it has won this prestigious award.

*As voted by Trip Advisor