North East Connected

U Hold The Key renews partnership with Lemon Business Solutions as growth plans progress

Two North East businesses have renewed a long-standing partnership to support each other’s growth post-pandemic. Leading Sedgefield-based self-storage company U Hold The Key has enhanced its alliance with Lemon Business Solutions in Stockton-on-Tees, to help improve customer communications as it pushes forward with expansion plans.

Lemon Business Solutions has provided Parsons Containers’ U Hold The Key self-storage business with out of hours call support since 2003, but this was put on hold during the pandemic. The partnership has now resumed and Parsons will benefit from Lemon’s investment in world-leading customer service technology, Genesys Cloud. The omnichannel contact centre platform will allow U Hold The Key to provide a more responsive service to its customers across multiple communications channels.

Founded by North East entrepreneur Ean Parsons in 2001, U Hold The Key has grown into one of the UK’s leading self-storage firms, and is a division of the Parsons Containers Group. The company currently has around 1,500 container stores on 10 sites in the North East and an eleventh in Grantham, and has experienced a 15% increase in occupied storage units during 2020.

The renewed partnership with Lemon Business Solutions comes at an important time for the U Hold The Key operation which has recently announced plans to launch a national franchise programme, following a surge in demand for self-storage during the pandemic. As part of its strategic growth, the company is also set to open two new U Hold The Key sites in the North East this year, with more planned for 2022.

Lemon Business Solutions, based at Preston Farm Business Park, specialises in developing bespoke customer service solutions for businesses and organisations throughout the UK. The company has recently invested in Genesys which enables clients’ customers to contact them at all times using the communication platform of their choice, including ’phone, social media, messaging such as WhatsApp, email or via a web chat facility.

Martin Anderson, chief executive officer at Lemon Business Solutions, comments: “We have invested in Genesys Cloud to enable the customers of clients like U Hold The Key to reach out to them using the communication platform of their choice. After all, we now live in the age of convenience with evolving communications preferences, where information is accessible 24/7 and you can get almost anything on demand. Our clients get to benefit from the advances in customer service technology without having to make any large investment themselves.

“In the 18 years we have partnered with U Hold The Key, the percentage of customers wishing to contact companies by ’phone has shrunk significantly, so we’re now working with them to facilitate online ‘live chat’ through their website and this will be extended to Facebook Messenger in the coming months. It’s great to see forward thinking companies like U Hold The Key leading the way on this. The feedback we have received so far is very positive and we look forward to working with the business for another 18 years – who knows what will be the number one customer communication platform in 2039!”

Ean Parsons, CEO of the Parsons Containers Group, comments: “Lemon has supported the growth of U Hold The Key with out of hours call support since 2003 and during that time both businesses have grown and evolved significantly. Lemon have a lot more to offer us and as an innovative company ourselves, we view the business as a strategic partner as we develop to meet the new expectations of the market place post-pandemic. With their new Genesys Cloud software, Lemon can manage a large number of media channels for us and this convinced us to also include our container sales activity in the partnership with this fresh start.”

U Hold The Key currently offers self-storage containers for a variety of commercial and domestic needs, with sizes ranging from 6ft by 4ft to 40ft by 8ft. In 2020, the company introduced a new 5ft container on a number of its sites to increase the storage capacity options available for customers.

To find out more about U Hold The Key, visit, call 0800 389 4319 or email For more information about Lemon Business Solutions visit

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