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BioCity Nottingham refurbishment to enable tenant growth
BioCity Nottingham has completed a major refurbishment of office suites and central communal areas worth in excess of £450,000.
The building reconfiguration and redecoration in the UK’s busiest bioscience business incubator began in December 2012 and was officially completed in March this year. BioCity’s position in the heart of Nottingham’s new Creative Quarter continues to attract ambitious life science start-up companies looking for the best facilities as well as on-site business advice.
The development work to create further high quality expansion and pre-incubation facilities has been part-funded by a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant under its “creating the environment for innovation” activity strand. It has involved the fitting out of shell space for specialist life science companies and the conversion of existing space into pre-incubation facilities. This has provided flexible open plan office accommodation, easy-to-access hot desks and lockable micro-offices. The popular BioCity Cafe Hub has been re-modelled to accommodate extra informal seating, a library and communal dining areas.
The intention is that the project will ultimately support 40 life sciences businesses to grow or start – a mixture of expanding and early stage companies, leading to the creation of at least 50 new, high quality jobs in Nottingham. The refurbishment work has already allowed at least two existing tenant companies a change in their premises to allow for their continued business growth.
North 51 now employs 25 people in its software development, website and mobile apps division in BioCity. As well as providing digital agency services to a range of clients, North 51’s own software is being licensed by over 90 NHS organisations. The BioCity refurbishment has allowed the company to migrate to a more open plan environment better suited to creative team working and collaboration. In common with well-known IT giants, North 51 has creatively introduced ‘play space’ where staff can play pool, socialise and hold informal meetings.
Phil Randall, founder and CEO of North 51 says: “Our previous BioCity office suite had allowed us to grow and we expanded into new areas of work, but it was no longer in keeping with the company we have become. Our new suite of offices is modern and fresh, much more in line with a technology business working with some of the biggest organisations in the world. With such an excellent working environment we expect to attract some of the UK’s brightest technology talent to Nottingham.”
Patent and Trade Mark attorneys AdamsonJones needed to find an extra 33 per cent floor space in order to accommodate their growing professional team. With an active clientele in the life sciences sector, the company needed to gear up for further expansion having grown from 6 to 19 staff since 2004. The configuration of the new space means that they can use the additional area more efficiently as individual offices, and introduce more formal and informal meeting places.
Senior patent attorney and company managing director Steve Jones says: “Given that three new staff have joined us since our decision to move, I know we made a timely decision to take up the offer of a new BioCity suite. Now we have a set of offices which not only allows for steady growth, but also projects our corporate image very strongly.”
BioCity Nottingham director Toby Reid has overseen the site changes and the introduction of flexible workplace options for virtual tenants and early start-ups.
“Providing the right environment for our tenant companies to grow is what we do. The expansion by North 51 and AdamsonJones gives us good reason to be optimistic as Nottingham continues to attract highly specialised and technically innovative life science talent. Access to flexible, affordable and modern premises is key to achieving the city’s aspirations for the commercialisation of innovative scientific ideas, so we are delighted that BioCity can play its part.”