Success story for Hereford Enterprise Zone
A new development in Hereford designed to support growing businesses has revealed that it is fully let, just six months after completion.
Skylon Court, located on the corner of the Straight Mile and Coldnose Road on Skylon Park, is now home to seven different organisations that are set to create more jobs in the future.
Skylon Court was constructed as a 12,200 sq ft courtyard development of 10 units designed to offer flexible accommodation for expanding companies, including offices and studio workspace. Many of the new companies operate in the defence and security sector, providing services from protection in hostile regions in cyber security training.
The Chairman of Herefordshire Enterprise Zone Bill Jackson said: “We are delighted that Skylon Court is fully occupied, just six months after completion.
It was designed to help fill a gap in the market for ready to let, self-contained business space, for companies that wanted to take advantage of the world-class business landscape that we are creating on the Zone. The state of the art development, coupled with the attractive benefits on offer, has obviously proved popular.
“Some of the businesses have moved from out of the area, bringing staff with them and creating new jobs with the promise of more in the future. Others have moved from elsewhere in Herefordshire freeing up their premises for new companies to move in, which provides an important boost for the wider economy of the county.”
The £1.8m development was funded by Herefordshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund. Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, performed the official opening last year with Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman.
Skylon Park is the designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, the private sector-led organisation tasked with revitalising the economy of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
SKYLON COURT CASE STUDIES
AKE International Ltd
AKE International is a highly experienced company focused on supporting individuals and organisations, operating in hostile, remote and challenging environments around the world.
At its core is a team of professionals with many years valuable experience in the security, training, insurance and intelligence industries, all dedicated to analysing, supporting and responding to political and security events around the world.
“Although headquartered in London, the move to Skylon Court for our Hereford based operational, training and administration teams will enable us to continue to develop our business and team while retaining the experienced people that make our business what it is. Skylon Court is situated in a great location for us.
“Previously we were in the centre of the city and accessibility and parking was particularly painful for both staff and visitors. With its modern feel and rural outlook, Skylon Court makes a pleasant working environment and we are happy to be a part of the Skylon Court business community” – Gill Gower, Operations Manager
The bespoke manned guarding security solutions and training provider was based elsewhere in Hereford before moving to Skylon Court. It currently employs six administrative staff and is looking to recruit a further two members of staff this year.
“An integral element of our long term business plan was to relocate to premises that offered us the facility to achieve our goals of a fit-for-purpose HQ, potential for growth and gave us value for money, all of which Skylon Court met.
“As a Hereford family based business the opportunity to be involved with the Enterprise Zone and the networking opportunities that could arise further validated our decision” – Craig Cullwick, Operations Manager
This team of building services consulting engineers combines its 30 years of experience with the very latest in technology and innovation to design, create and refurbish all types of buildings that are environmentally and economically sustainable.
The fast growing firm works in many different sectors with clients of every shape and size, on old buildings and brand new ones. Its’ portfolio ranges from Buckingham Palace and the Natural History Museum through to the rapidly expanding Premier Inn hotel chain.
“We have recently moved to the exciting new development at Skylon Court and feel really at home here. Our business ethos is focused largely around energy and sustainability and the fact that the buildings at Skylon Court are all cloaked in a lovely green clad façade was an immediate selling point to us along with the building’s green credentials, BREEAM rating, and low energy running costs.
“The site has photo voltaic panels installed on all buildings, offsetting carbon against grid displaced electricity, which was also attractive to us. We are pleased to be a part of the Skylon Court Business community and have comfort that we have a unit that will allow our business to grow over the next five years” – Brett Smith, Commercial Director
Offering consultancy, project management, recruitment and asset protection services, Minimal Risk moved into Skylon Court with nine employees from other local premises.
“The move into Skylon Court has given us the opportunity to design and construct the office around our specific needs; with a modern outlook, excellent facilities and a spacious feel, this is already proving to be an ideal working environment. We have recently received new clients who have commented favourably.
“There is a community feel to the Skylon development and it is an ideal springboard for the future. We do anticipate engaging more personnel in the near future to facilitate recently secured contracts” – Bob Cole, Director.
Specialising in financial services and R&D tax relief, MSC Associates moved from locations near Monmouth and Bishop’s Frome to Skylon Court. It currently has six employees and aims to create a further three jobs within the next three years.
“With ready access to local businesses and a supporting infrastructure, the offices at Skylon Court provided the ideal location and environment for us to continue the expansion of our high growth business” – Steve Crooks, Director.
Focusing on providing cyber security training and product development, Xreach moved its team of seven to larger premises in Skylon Court as part of its plan for growth. It aims to recruit at least two new members of staff before the end of the year.
“Skylon Court offered us the flexibility and value for money we need to continue our sustained growth. As a firm with its roots in Hereford, it was natural to move on to the Enterprise Zone with its dedicated defence and security focus” – Steve Thomas, Managing Director.
The Business Solutions Centre provides a wide range of services for local businesses including incubation space for start-ups and hot desk facilities as well as conference and meeting rooms.
It also houses the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire – a new hub offering businesses a single point of access to support services that has been launched by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council.
“The location of Skylon Court offers easy access to the range of businesses accessing our services and facilities so it’s an ideal location for the Business Solutions Centre and the Growth Hub. Since opening, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response from local businesses large and small who have been keen to utilise the centre and its onsite expertise” – Charlotte Thomas, Business Development Officer