NORTH Lanarkshire Council have revealed they are operating at an impressive 90 per cent occupancy level across their portfolio of business properties for the third quarter in a row and claim this proves Lanarkshire is a great place to do business.
Two leading Lanarkshire companies have backed these claims by highlighting how important being situated in the county has been to their growth in the post-recession economy.
Recruitment and people management consultants, One Recruitment Associates, based in Airdrie and mechanical and electrical contractors, Dalziel Services, based in Newmains are among a host of companies enjoying a purple patch, expanding their businesses and moving to larger premises in Lanarkshire.
North Lanarkshire Properties chair, Councillor Burrows, said:
“We have continued to experience strong demand for our properties this year. Although some businesses have downsized and now require smaller spaces, the majority of our lettings have been made by organisations and sole-operators that are expanding; which is not only positive for them, but for the region as a whole.”
During the 1980’s and early 90’s, North Lanarkshire suffered from the loss of its heavy industry. However, the county has seen a rapid growth in service-based activities, with the rise in financial and business services outstripping that of the entire Scottish economy. This change in direction has led to an increase in the number of active businesses in the area, which is higher than the national average.
According to North Lanarkshire Council, during the economic downturn (2008 to 2011) there were 6,650 active enterprises and businesses in North Lanarkshire. This has now increased to more than 7000 in 2013; a clear indication of the business growth currently being experienced in the county.
North Lanarkshire Properties are now encouraging small business owners and home-workers to follow in the footsteps of One Recruitment and Dalziel Services by considering a move into professional office space. A decision that Paul Gregory, managing director of One Recruitment Associates, believes was a business boost when they moved their company to Airdrie Business Centre after a steady period of growth.
Paul said: “We had increased our own number of employees and so it was necessary as the business grew, to seek out a new base. We often hold recruitment open days, so finding the right place, which was professional and welcoming, was important for us.
“Right now there is a real buzz in Lanarkshire in terms of businesses locating and growing here. We have worked hard to develop our company, and without doubt, moving to these new premises at Airdrie Business Centre is helping us to continue on this path.”
Established in 2006, One Recruitment are now one of the UK’s fastest growing recruitment companies within the call centre, financial services, energy, insurance and sales divisions. As well as recruiting staff for other businesses, Paul realised that when expanding his own company, he too was going to be in the market for new employees and a professional business setting was vital to attracting and retaining staff.
Dalziel Services are a rapidly expanding mechanical and electrical contractor firm based in Newmains who now employ over 150 people including apprentices, with a turnover of £15million. They began life as a small operation with five employees, moving to Dalziel Building, Motherwell in 2007. They are now in a position to be able to deliver sizeable projects across the entire UK and focus on training and development; recruiting 14 apprentice engineers in Lanarkshire alone this year.
Managing director, Jamie Delaney, agrees that being based in Lanarkshire has helped them grow their business successfully, and further emphasises that their initial move to Dalziel Building in Motherwell facilitated them to achieve this. Jamie said: “We were in a development stage when we decided to move our business to the Dalziel Building. It was the perfect location for us at the time to manage our contract work and attract new employees to expand our staff levels. Here were modern, purpose built offices which were affordable to our small operation, with ample parking, modern IT services and meeting rooms we could hire when important clients were visiting.
“The location of a business is very important in developing a strong workforce and generating good leads. It was definitely the right move for us, and I hope other small businesses consider moving to premises like Dalziel Building to give themselves a strong footing for future growth. As our turnover and staff levels increased we upgraded to bigger offices on four occasions within Dalziel Building.”
“While we eventually had to move to our own purpose-built premises as part of our further expansion, it is a clear sign that choosing the right place to start out in is vital. It is fair to say that being located in Dalziel Building in our early years of trading helped the company achieve the stability which allowed controlled growth, leading to the success story we have become. Lanarkshire is booming and we are proud to be a part of its success story over the years.”
North Lanarkshire Properties have made further plans to assist small businesses or home workers move to new offices by announcing a series of affordable pop-up office facilities at Airdrie Business Centre and Dalziel Building. This new, modern way of working allows those who only need to be in the office for a few hours, the chance to hot-desk in a bright, professional setting while still retaining all of the services the centres provide including manned receptions, high speed internet and meeting rooms.
North Lanarkshire Properties chair, Councillor Burrows, said: “Pop up offices are becoming increasingly popular as technology shapes how we work. Now individuals and companies have the chance to utilise short-term office space, as and when they need it, on a drop-in basis. We hope that by embracing this concept, small business will find it even easier to establish and grow in Lanarkshire.”
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Contact: Ellie Wagstaff
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