Business Centre of the Month Award: One Year On
One year on, as our monthly award reaches its first anniversary, we look back over the past 12 months to celebrate the winners of officebroker.com’s Business Centre of the Month award.
First announced in the March 2010 edition of News&Views, officebroker.com’s monthly industry newsletter for UK serviced office providers, the award was created by Managing Director Jim Venables who wanted to celebrate the country’s best business centres and in turn raise the profile of the industry.
There are thousands of business centres around the UK which provide a flexible base for our start-up and SME market, helping businesses to become established and providing a solid base from which they can grow and prosper. The award is designed to sing the praises of those centres that deliver the very best in customer service, offer a high standard of facilities and that generate a positive business community.
“Those that provide excellence from the top down – this is what our Business Centre of the Month award is all about,” explained Jim. “Interaction, community and an active online profile to help promote the industry are all important factors in achieving this award.”
In addition, and as part of a continued effort to raise the profile of the industry, Jim believes that centres should also demonstrate innovative marketing or PR techniques along with schemes such as networking events, as this not only boosts the profile of the centre but actively raises awareness of the serviced office concept too.
“The qualities that we look for in every winner are exactly what the industry has become renowned for,” he said.
“Serviced offices are, after all, home to thousands of business of all shapes and sizes – including many start-ups and SMEs. Those centres that generate and maintain a positive environment in which these businesses can flourish should be recognised and praised – this is exactly what our award does.”
Going the extra mile
To date, every winner has demonstrated that they tick all the boxes of the award criteria and much more – with many expressing their commitment to the industry and their eagerness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
One of the earliest winners of the award was Portal Business Centre in Warrington (pictured), an independent centre managed by BCA board member Sallie Maskrey and her team. Aside from an excellent offering and stellar service, the team have created a solid community spirit within the centre that is both stimulating and supportive for clients.
officebroker.com consultant Gerard Richards, who handles enquiries for Warrington, recently visited the centre and commented on the “warm and friendly” reception he received.
“Sallie and the team are always willing to help and they offer a personal service which has created a community environment between the clients,” he said. “One of the best things about the centre is their support for businesses, especially smaller firms and start-ups. They offer a great flexible package and the facilities are all of a high standard.”
The list of winners is varied and each one brings its own unique offering to the table. For example in August, Stirling’s beautiful Grade II listed Touch Business Centre scooped the award, while December’s accolade went to the highly sustainable BREEAM-rated Thorpe Park in Leeds, operated by icon Business Centres.
The award is open to all UK business centres, and while several winners are independently managed, officebroker.com also welcomes entries for multiple centres and to date two companies have successfully seen more than one of their centres claim the award.
Orega Ltd, who kicked off the award in April 2010 as the inaugural winner with Chertsey Business Centre, followed this up in January 2011 with a second title for ‘The Beehive’ – their state-of-the-art centre in Gatwick. The Beehive was once a working terminal for Gatwick Airport, and continues to draw acclaim from enthusiasts for its intriguing past and quirky architecture.
The Office Group saw the super stylish 3 Lloyds Avenue (pictured below left), which was managed by Esselco Services at the time, win the monthly award in July 2010 and then go onto win the prestigious title of Business Centre of the Year 2010. In September 2010, the company also won the award for their eco-friendly Farringdon Too, which combines innovative sustainable features alongside a fashionable fit-out and an excellent on-site support team.
2011 continues to generate entries for the award from a stellar line-up of business centres, ranging from the far reaches of Scotland and the North West, to Wales and the South of England.
Each winner receives a free video of their centre complete with a scripted voiceover and a Video Listing subscription, combined with a place on the officebroker.com homepage, a certificate, award logo and publicity from the officebroker.com team.
If you think your centre stands out from the crowd, submit your entry for our Business Centre of the Month Award by sending an email to Jo Disney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the award and the list of criteria, speak to Jo on 0870 112 3667 (opt 2) or email email@example.com for more details.