Nixon Hire Company History
Company History

Company History

Established in 1967. Nixon Hire is one of the longest established businesses in the plant hire sector. Find out more about our impressive growth from humble beginnings here...
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Company History

John Nixon Ltd was incorporated by John Nixon in December 1967. The company’s headquarters (barely big enough to service a few machines at a time) were situated in Back New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

John employed a fitter while he toured Northern England and Scotland providing a repair service. Sales enquiries began to come in and John Nixon Ltd became a distributor for a number of leading plant manufacturers.

Nixon Hire beginnings - distributor for leading plant manufacturers
Images showing John Nixon in the early days.


The company expanded into Teesside and new purpose built premises. Alan and David, John’s two brothers, joined the company.


Turnover had increased to £1.25 million and the company moved to Water Street in Newcastle.
Nixon Hire expansion into plant and tool hire


A depot of the company was opened in Edinburgh.


John Nixon Ltd purchased the plant division of Stanley Miller. This acquisition included 70 second-hand steel security containers. Soon after this the company began to manufacture these containers. Welders and joiners were recruited to complete this phase of growth.


John’s five children had all joined the business by the early nineties and set up Nixon Site Services Ltd. Having received enquiries for portable flushing toilets, the site service arm of the business purchased 25 units and began hiring them out. Demand grew and so did their supply of units. As John's children gained valuable business experience from this side of the business, so the vehicle hire side expanded to boast an 800 strong fleet of vans.
As the company came out of the recession in the early nineties, the demand for construction equipment boomed. Nixon Hire was able to expand its services with a full range of small tools, plant, accommodation, vehicles and portable toilets.


The vehicle hire side of the business was sold to focus on construction plant and equipment hire and sales. Proceeds from the sale of the vehicle hire business were invested in a Sunderland depot, opening in October 1994.


Demand for plant and equipment spread to cable and utility companies. The company’s reputation for quality and excellence helped them lead the way in this field. National investment in cable television and the communication infrastructure at this time helped Nixon Hire to gain respect on a national scale.


After winning a cable contract in the Leeds / Bradford area, the company opened a Bradford depot.


The Bradford depot was relocated to a larger depot on a two acre site off Leeds Road.


Perth depot was opened.


A defining year in the company's history. Not only did the company install a state of the art hire management system across all depots, new depots opened simultaneously in Dundee and Aberdeen on the demise of Cox Hire. Cox staff were employed by Nixon Hire, with many still working for the company today. In the same year, the toilet hire division of Owen Pugh was purchased, adding further depots at Glasgow and Cupar in Fife with toilets in North East England being incorporated into existing depots.


In May that year the company commenced trading from Carlisle, giving presence in Cumbria, Lancashire and Dumfriesshire. Later that year the company opened a Toilet Hire depot in Liverpool.


The company gains full accreditation to ISO 9001 quality standard across all depots. Wakefield depot is opened and new premises in Sunderland were purchased, greatly enhancing service there.


Nixon Hire Middle East was created with the opening of an office in Doha, Qatar. Nixon eXtra was created. This division was created to allow the company to offer a truly national service with carefully selected service partners across the UK. Nixon eXtra also developed several standalone websites to capitalise on the growth opportunities from the internet, initially focusing on toilet hire with new sites and product lines rolled out regularly thereafter. Nixon Direct was created to service selected customers who require tailored service solutions and one point of contact.
Nixon Hire expands into Middle East


Aberdeen relocated to larger premises. A new range of Welfarevans were introduced to the hire fleet bringing vehicles back to the fleet after a sixteen year absence. 


Inverness depot opened in March 2011 extending coverage across North West Scotland. Despite the most difficult trading conditions in decades, the company launches an ambitious business plan, split into phases to the year 2020. The plan is aptly named 2020 Vision.


The company relocates its Central Support Office to new premises on Scotswood Road Newcastle.


Consolidation of 3 depots (Cupar, Perth & Dundee) into one large hub depot in Dundee was finalised. This depot now offers our full range of equipment. We have also moved our Liverpool toilet depot into a large 2.5 acre site at Warrington, also offering our full range of equipment.
In 2014 we were delighted to win 'Company of the Year' in The Journal newspaper Business Awards.
We were also featured in the Top 200 list for the first time and climbed up the table in the Fastest 50 league table.
We opened the doors on our brand new Glasgow site.  Moving to larger premises, we were able to expand upon the product range offered so we now provide plant, tool, accommodation, welfare facilities and toilets from this Depot.

...........So far in 2016
So far in 2016 we have renamed our Inverness Depot to Highlands (Nairn). The new Depot name better reflects the geographical area we cover and is more helpful to those using the services in the local area.

Present day

From the Highlands in the north to Wakefield and Warrington in the south, Nixon Hire’s depot network is expanding continually to cover most of Scotland and northern England.
Despite the most difficult economic trading conditions the company has ever encountered from late 2008 and 2009, turnover continues to grow at an impressive rate, with 17% growth in the past three years.
The company is widely recognised as one of the fastest growing plant hire companies in the UK and has one of the most modern fleets available.
The toilet division of the company is widely acclaimed and has provided hundreds of toilets for events such as The Great North Run, Reading Festival, Leeds Festival, Love Parade, Creamfields, Princes Trust and T in the Park in Scotland. 

The company has won many awards over the years and is now one of the top ten largest privately owned plant hire companies in the UK.

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