The longest serving tenants at Heathhall Business Centre, Solway Tile & DIY Centre has called our central hub home for over four decades. But what does it take to hold onto such an iconic local family business, like this one, for generations?

“We’re well established here and it’s worked well for us. It’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. The rents are affordable and the Heathhall team have made important improvements like installing the high-speed internet service and increasing the on-site security. We also have a good mix of other businesses around us, which is a big draw for people.”

Linda Buckle
Director
Solway Tile & DIY Centre

About Solway Tile & DIY Centre

Catering to retail and trade customers, Solway Tile & DIY Centre have been supplying tiles (and everything that goes with them) for over 45 years. With a huge range of stock to choose from in their Heathhall shop, whether you’re completing a new build project or tackling home improvements, Solway Tile will help you choose the right product for the job, to suit your style and budget.

“It’s not just about selling a product at a counter […] Our customers need information about tools, adhesives, grouts – these are all important to the job. We take into consideration factors like underfloor heating, which will change the type of tile a customer needs. […] It’s about offering customers our knowledge and advice.”

Over Four Decades At Heathhall

Founded by local entrepreneurs Peter Moore and Tony Buckle, Solway Tile & DIY Centre is now the longest serving business at Heathhall. The shop was opened by Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine, in 1971.

Although Peter and Tony have both since retired, Solway Tile and DIY Centre is still a family business in the truest sense. Today, the business is flourishing under the management of mother and son team, Linda and Guy Buckle, who now employ a team of 4 in their Heathhall shop.

The team’s customer base stretches from Aviemore to London, and from the Isles of Iona, Mull, Coll and Skye on the west coast of Scotland, to Kelso and Dunns to the East. They also stock a variety of European designs in the shop, importing tiles directly from Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Traditional Service in a Modern Marketplace

“We’re always working to stay up to date and move with the times. But we’re still a traditional family store – and that’s why our customers come to us.”

Linda Buckle
Director
Solway Tile & DIY Centre

Solway Tile pride themselves on providing a very much hands on, personal service – the kind customers struggle to find when they shop online. Unlike many local stores who have moved away from face-to-face selling and into e-commerce, Solway Tiles sell exclusively from their shop at Heathhall. And it’s working!

“We’re always making sure we stay competitive with internet prices. People want to look, touch and feel before they buy tiles for their home. And it’s easy to buy a product which isn’t suitable for the job when you’re shopping online. Or to buy the wrong quantity. For example, you might find if you buy tiles designed for an en-suite bathroom and put them in your kitchen – they can’t stand up to the wear.”

At Solway Tile and DIY, it’s not just about selling a product at a counter.

“Our customers need information about tools, adhesives, grouts – these are all important to the job. And it’s easy for customers to buy the wrong products, making the job more expensive in the end. We take into consideration factors like underfloor heating, which will change the type of tile a customer needs.”

Linda Buckle
Director
Solway Tile & DIY Centre

Reasons For Staying At Heathhall

Now into their 47th year on the estate, Linda explained why it still makes sense to base the family business at Heathhall,

“The rents are affordable and the Heathhall team have made important improvements like installing the high-speed internet service and increasing the on-site security. We also have a good mix of other businesses around us, which is a big draw for people. The team have made a point of ensuring that there’s a variety of trades and retailers on the estate, too.”

Linda Buckle
Director
Solway Tile & DIY Centre

Staying Connected with High-Speed Internet Access

It’s not just e-commerce businesses who have benefitted from the new high-speed internet service, which was rolled out to all tenants at Heathhall in 2017. Although the team at Solway Tile don’t sell products online, they still need a reliable internet connection to carry out everyday tasks like using cloud accounting software and marketing their business on Facebook.

New Venues and Grand Designs On The Horizon

Since Solway Tile was established, nearly fifty years ago, the business has supplied several attractions across Dumfries and Galloway and further afield, including the popular Annandale Distillery in Annan, the Crafty Distillery in Newton Stewart and specialist large format tiles to Lindores Distillery and Visitors Centre in Fife.

Earlier this year, the team at GG’s yard came to Solway Tile looking for something special for their barn conversion project. The new site is set to become one of Scotland’s most sought after wedding venues and called for a product that was beautiful but durable. Solway Tile helped GG’s create a luxurious look that would stand up to all those dancing shoes, using their stunning, wood effect porcelain tiles which are extremely hard wearing and look just like real wood.

This year, the team at Solway Tile & DIY are working on an exclusive project for an up and coming ‘Grand Design’ taking place near Stranraer.