As a result of the global growth the self-storage sector is experiencing, its expected value by 2026 stands at £4.10 billion in Europe alone. In 2019, the Self-Storage Association (SSA) reported that there are over 1500 self-storage facilities in the UK, for both domestic and business purposes. Although this number is smaller when compared to other countries such as the US or Australia, the UK still ranks highest in Europe with the number of facilities it has, followed by France and Spain which both have an estimated 450 self-storage facilities.

So why is the number of self-storage facilities so high in the UK and why is it expected to keep growing?

The reason is that the domestic need in the country is almost 10 times higher than in continental Europe, with common reasons for using self-storage including divorce and old age. It’s not surprising then that most customers making use of self-storage facilities are between the age of 40 and 70. Another reason is that the urban lifestyle is attracting an increasingly higher number people each year to move houses, and while the sector has seen steady growth recently, it still appears to be young as no major key players have fully established themselves within it. In the UK, there are larger brands that can be found around the country, as well as local self-storage brands recognised around their area and trusted by the local community, such as Cookes Storage Service.

Cookes Storage Service entrance

Also, what role does the pandemic play in this industry?

Throughout the pandemic, people have been moving homes, causing these facilities to fill up. In addition, such facilities have also been taken over by new businesses, causing most warehouse spaces to be occupied last year.

With house prices increasing, tenants moving into new homes are spending more time at home and have made more use of self-storage facilities to de-clutter their homes and free up space where they live, keeping only what is necessary. A similar reason is that people seeking to sell their homes will need to temporarily store some of their belongings in a storage space while they look for a new home. De-cluttering appears to be one of the main reasons for picking a storage facility during the pandemic, which could be due to the higher quantity of time spent at home, or due to more home space having to be sacrificed for a work-from-home set-up.

Self-storage firms have reported an increasing demand as a consequence of the pandemic, and to meet these new consumer needs, flexible companies have expanded their sites around the UK, providing more space such as containers.

So, what’s going to happen?

It is predicted that the price for self-storage units will be skyrocketing in the near future. In addition to families and tenants making use of self-storage for de-cluttering related reasons, increasing the occupancy of such facilities, prices are also rising due to investors looking to invest in new assets during the pandemic.

However, with the uncertainties that come with Covid-19, for how long will this increase last? The pandemic has made one thing clear: things can be very volatile.

Over the last year, we have seen many businesses – such as high street shops – closing. On the other hand, brands such as Amazon and sectors related to real estate and workspace solutions seem to have profited from Covid. With a flexible remote-working approach being implemented as a long-term plan by employers, and with working from home suiting many employees, it seems like the pandemic has changed our office space in many ways and with reports predicting an increase in self-storage use, it is possible that this industry will only become more popular with time.

However, only time will tell.

For more information on Cookes Storage Service call us on
0121 250 5055 or check

Although we all use computers in business today, many industries still generate large amounts of paper records – much of which has to be kept for long periods of time.

Financial, legal, insurance and medical records, as well as tax records, architectural drawings and project information – whatever your industry, you probably have a lot of files that you need to store.

There’s no need to use your valuable office space, particularly if you’re paying premium city rates for every square foot. Self storage units offer you a cost-effective and secure place to keep your confidential and important documents.

When you start looking for a self storage unit, don’t assume all operators have the same offer. It’s worth looking about to see what you need.

Distance from your office

While your first thought might be to look for the closest storage unit to your office, in fact this may be the least important consideration.

Many industries need to store files for up to 10 years, but the paperwork is rarely needed during that time. Choosing a storage operator outside of the city limits will result in the benefit of lower costs that outweigh the distance to go for the occasional file.

External or internal units

Some storage units are external lock ups, while others are indoor units. If you do choose an external lock up, you’ll need to be aware of potential damage to your files from damp and rodents.

An indoor unit will mean that your paperwork stays dry and rodent free, so there’s no chance of mould or chewing to ruin essential files.

Security features

Another advantage of indoor units is that you are not only relying on your padlock to keep your data secure. Check that the operator you are considering offers CCTV both inside and outside of the facility. Some facilities, like Cookes, are manned throughout the day and have PIN code access, providing another layer of reassurance.

Room to grow

The great thing about self storage is that not only are the contracts flexible, so is the space. So, as your business grows and your records increase, you can easily expand the size of your unit.

Pre-installed racking from Cookes

Added extras

If you do need to access your records, you’ll want to be able to get hold of them easily. You can be sure that if you just pile boxes on top of each other, the files you need will be at the bottom of the heap.

Adding shelving to your unit will allow you to easily access individual files, and means boxes won’t get crushed and damaged. At Cookes, our archive units are prepared for you with pre-installed racking – giving you one less thing to do.

Record system

Make sure you clearly label each box before it goes off to storage. Whether you mark them by year, by project name or some other system, number each box and set up a simple record system on your computer. Then, if you do need to retrieve a file, you can easily identify the right box.

Collection services

Once your boxes are full, you’ll need to get them to your unit. Paperwork can be surprisingly heavy and inconvenient to move about.

We have a simple solution – our removals team will collect your boxes for you, and move them into your unit, secure and stored until you need them.


With the deadline for GDPR compliance coming in May 2018, firms are reviewing their data storage right now. No matter where you store your confidential files, the onus is on your business to keep them safe. Make sure the storage firm you use has a clear understanding of GDPR, and how they can help you keep your files secure.

Cookes Archiving Solutions

At Cookes we have a ready make archiving solution for businesses, including pre-installed racking in your unit, a supply of extra strong archiving boxes, a padlock and marker pens, and an LED light to help you find your way. Once you’ve packed your boxes, our removal team will collect them for you and install them in your unit.

Call Cookes – we’re here to help your business grow.

cookes storage christmas opening hours

The Cookes Storage Service opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows:

  • 23rd December: 9am to 5pm
  • 24th December: 10am to 2pm
  • 25th December: CLOSED
  • 26th December: CLOSED
  • 27th – 31st December: 10am to 4pm
  • 1st January: CLOSED
  • 2nd January: Normal Operating Hours

If you require access outside of these operating hours please give us a call on 0121 285 5197 or email