The Kirkby Lonsdale business is planning to expand and target the hospitality sector as a potential growth area

Cumbria is a county with its fair share of grand homes.

Since 2014 the team at Epixx have been hard at work travelling around the county - and beyond - making some of the Lake District’s most impressive houses even more desirable by installing top of the range entertainment and technology.

Founders Ben Tomlinson and Matt Holmes first set up the business in Windermere but relocated to Kirkby Lonsdale about five years ago.

Matt had been working for national electronics company Yesss Electrical with the task of growing its smart home operation but decided to go into business with Ben in 2014.

As well as installing home entertainment systems, they also provide a full range of security measures and wi-fi, as well as installing solar panels and battery storage to power the various systems. All of this can be controlled at the touch of a button from a mobile phone app or automated to regulate itself.

This includes features such as heating and lighting which turns itself on and off as required or smart systems that are coordinated with the output from solar panels.

“We'll give you an app that shows you what you're generating from your solar panels and how much charge there is in your batteries,” says Matt.

“If the battery is full it means you're exporting energy to the grid so you might want to bring on an appliance like a washing machine to make use of that energy.”

Although solar panels and battery storage systems do not come cheap, they are an increasingly economical option in the face of rising energy costs.

“We are doing return on investment calculations for a lot of projects now and where they used to be 10 to 13 years they are coming in at five years,” says Matt.

The business now has a team of nine working throughout the Lake District, as well as Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Although the company’s clients do include many people who are able to pay a six-figure sum for the latest fit out, it also works on smaller jobs such as installing alarm systems.

"We might be in and out in a day if we're putting some wi-fi into a coffee shop, but if we're doing a rewire on an estate and installing cameras, alarms and gates and music we could well be there for two, three years on and off,” says Matt.

The initial work will then be followed up with regular maintenance and upgrades.

Matt says despite the rising cost of living, many businesses and individuals are still happy to invest large amounts in technology and the business’ location in Kirkby Lonsdale means it is well placed on the intersection of Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire for it to continue to expand.

Epixx plans to take on more staff and target the hospitality sector as a potential growth area.

"That's something we're going to really push next year as part of our growth plan,” says Matt.

"You used to go to a hotel and the hotel room would be a lot nicer than your own bedroom. Ten or 15 years ago that started flipping the other way around. Everyone's got Netflix in their bedroom, and everybody's got nice lighting and heating and so hotels are having to up their game.”

At the same time, businesses and individuals are also increasingly keen to install automated lighting and heating systems which can save them money.

"People are looking at solar panels, batteries, energy monitoring systems which can power things down when they're not in use,” says Matt.

“It really fits with what we’re about, which is trying to grow the business while helping people have secure homes that are great places to live but sustainable at the same time.”