Our History - Our Story - Morris Leslie

Morris LeslieOur History

  • Start of a Journey

    Morris Leslie established the company over 40 years ago on a farm in Rait, Perthshire, where he began buying and selling construction equipment locally. He soon expanded to trading nationally and globally.

     

  • Entering the Plant Hire Sector in Scotland

    In 1980, Morris Leslie Ltd entered the local Plant Hire sector and quickly established themselves as a major player in the Scottish hire market, supplying the construction sector.

     

  • Purchase of Errol Airfield

    In 1988, RAF Errol Airfield was purchased after many years of disuse since being used as a World War II airfield and training site. The airfield provided the ideal location to start auctioning plant, which quickly grew in size, and are now one of the biggest in Scotland, attracting buyers from all over Europe.

     

  • Expansion into Modular Buildings

    In the late 1980s the Group began selling Modular Buildings and Portable Cabins focussing on affordable instant accommodation. This division was eventually bought over by DB Modular Buildings in August 2020, where the business has continued to grow.

     

  • Expansion of Morris Leslie Plant Hire into England

    The Morris Leslie Group entered the plant hire market in England in the early 1990s with the acquisition Exeter, Plymouth & Saltash in the Southwest. This expansion afforded customers the top quality plant equipment and accommodation they expected from the business, whilst being backed up by local branch support.

     

  • Purchase of Perth Airport

    In 1997, the purchase of Perth Airport was completed, and the surrounding buildings were transformed into a multi-purpose business park and residential area. The expansion and refurbishment of the area saw over 50 companies take root on the site, with over 400 people employed throughout, and has welcomed notable visitors such as the Queen and former US President, George W. Bush.

     

  • Acquisition of Cox Plant Hire depots

    Morris Leslie Plant Hire expanded its operations into the South East of England with the acquisition of 2 former Cox hire depots in Burgess Hill and Woking. Along with core plant hire these depots provided the South East with tool hire and equipment for events and festivals.

  • Opening of SkyLodge Hotel

    With increased business coming as a result of the purchase of Perth Airport, demand for accommodation on site was soon satisfied by the opening of the Skylodge Hotel. Providing lodge accommodation for business travellers, families and bus parties,  the hotel proved an instant hit for the area. The buildings which house SkyLodge, were initially used for accommodation for aviation students who trained at the airport, and were refurbished and upgraded to create 60 en-suite bedrooms.

     

  • Expansion into Vehicle Auctions

    Morris’s son, Gregor Leslie, identified an opportunity to expand the auction business by diversifying into the car auction market and in March 2007 launched the company’s first ever vehicle only auction. The events proved a huge success and we now sell in excess of 11,000 cars p.a.

     

  • Expansion into Classic Auctions

    In 2012, the Vehicle Auctions division held its first Classic Vehicle and Machinery Auction. The auction was so successful they are now held every quarter. Our classic auctions have over 200 entries of cars, tractors, lorries and motorbikes.

     

  • Aquisition of three Ambrose Plant Hire depots

    In 2013, Morris Leslie Plant Hire acquired 3 Plant hire depots from Ambrose Plant Hire to take its total Hire Depots to 9, providing national coverage from Cornwall to Central Scotland.

  • Aquisition of four Hewden Plant Hire depots

    Morris Leslie Plant Hire acquired four depots from the administrators of Hewden in 2017 in strategic locations (Bedford, Birmingham, Inverness & Whitehaven) to ensure our national customers have full access to the youngest fleet on the market.

     

  • Aquisition of Chertsey Plant Hire

    Morris Leslie Plant Hire continued its fleet and depot expansion in 2018 with the purchase of Chertsey Plant Hire.  The acquisition strengthened our presence in the south east and expanded the fleet by a further 500 assets.

  • Relocation of Head Office to Caledonian House

    Morris Leslie purchased the prestigious former Edrington building (locally known as the Famous Grouse building) at West Kinfauns, creating a new business centre for local companies looking to expand or organisations considering relocating. Part of the building is currently occupied by Morris Leslie’s head office staff. The rest of the flexible office space and conference facilities, including an auditorium with state of the art technology, will be available to the rental market. The building has since been named Caledonian House.

  • Aquisition of LPM Plant Hire division

    Morris Leslie Plant Hire continued its fleet and depot expansion in 2019 with the purchase of the Plant Hire division of LPM, expanding the companies assets.

  • Launch of Morris Leslie Villages

    With sales in the £multi-million holiday home sector reaching record levels across the UK, Morris Leslie Villages will offer discerning buyers seeking holiday homes in idyllic settings, the opportunity to purchase a luxurious lodge in the heart of rural Scotland. Morris Leslie Villages is set to position itself at the top end of the market with its high-end prestigious lodge properties available exclusively for purchase.

  • Acquisition of Selwood Ltd Plant Hire Division

    The expansion of Morris Leslie Plant Hire continued with the purchase of Selwood Ltd Plant Hire division, increasing the already strong presence in the south east by a further 5 depots.