As it consists largely of international students, St Andrews undergoes an annual shift in demographic: students leave for their home countries, replacing the town with visiting tourists and golfers. In this interim, students enter a limbo between leases, with many flats opening with classes in September. Several summertime storage companies have emerged to combat this state of semi-homelessness, during which students must store their uni belongings in Scotland.
Initially, Big Space reigned supreme, with over 800 students choosing to rent with them. This past December, however, the University issued an official warning against partnering with the company, due to a “serious incident […] involving an alleged assault on University staff by [Big Space] employees.” The warning came on the heels of multiple student complaints of lost boxes, mistreated items, and high prices.
Even prior to this warning, student Harry Bremner felt that it was possible to provide better service for less. In 2015, he created Local Student Storage, a company designed with the dual goals of convenience and affordability. While he first intended to store boxes in his own home, he received enough applications to warrant renting a facility in Cupar. Bremner explains that, in the interest of organisation, they regularly rent out more space than needed – this prevents overcrowding or item confusion at the summer’s end. The company’s low prices rapidly undercut the market and drove competitor’s prices down, benefiting students regardless of what service they chose to employ.
Still, Bremner remains committed to being the most affordable game in town. Local Student Storage is the only company to provide standard and large boxes free of charge, and he stresses their dedication to providing fair price points. “When we collect your belongings, first we make sure you’re there to meet us. Then we take payment upon arrival. Lots of people who order ten boxes, for example, only end up using eight. This way, we can be flexible and see how much space you actually need, then only charge you for what you use.”
With nearly 200 clients, the company remains inundated with applications, even expanding its services to the University of Edinburgh. In past years, Bremner has cut off applications in mid-May. Students seeking summer storage are advised to book now to avoid disappointment.