Thursday, February 5, 2015 | Birmingham, U.K.
In July 2014, UBC officially launched its brand new Birmingham centre, 65 Church Street.
Although UBC has always been committed to Birmingham and the West Midlands, 65 Church Street represented a big step forward for the serviced office company. The centre was UBC’s very first business location in the city centre and, with the possibility of more Birmingham locations in the pipeline, it was considered an important milestone.
So, having passed the six-month mark, has 65 Church Street lived up to expectations?
Currently sitting at 71% occupancy, 65 Church Street has made fantastic progress. The centre received significant interest before its official launch, and continued to do so throughout the year – particularly with the arrival of fast-growing military startup support group, X-Forces, in September.
The real turning point came at the end of the year. During the festive season, 65 Church Street saw a flurry of activity with no less than 36 workstations snapped up.
“It was a very busy time for the team, and an exciting one too,” said Chris Price, UBC Area Sales Manager. “We had a lot of new businesses moving in along with internal expansions from existing clients.
“Following significant interest, we’re now moving ahead with fitting-out the fourth and final floor, ready to welcome more clients to 65 Church Street.”
Positive impact for local SMEs
65 Church Street has made a positive impact in the short time it has been open, by providing a flexible base for Birmingham’s expanding startup and SME scene. Indeed, when Gary Cardin, Chair of Colmore Business District (CBD) officially opened 65 Church Street last year, he welcomed it as a venue that’s “supporting the growth of SMEs in CBD” and across Birmingham.
It’s also providing a supportive and professional base for the many firms that are looking to expand outside of London.
One of those firms is Barnes & Partners Solicitors. This successful practice currently has 10 offices in North London, with a head office in Enfield, and their arrival at 65 Church Street in January 2015 signifies growing regional demand for their services.
Senior partner Nigel Barnes opened their first Birmingham office in Temple Row a year ago. Due to the success and expansion of the family department headed by solicitor Shahid Shoeb, within 10 months, the firm needed larger premises – and this brought the team to 65 Church Street.
Ravi Sandhu-Kale, Solicitor of 25 years, who has recently joined the company to develop the conveyancing side of the business – an area that’s continuing to strengthen as West Midlands property market improves – attributes the company’s requirement for “larger prestige offices” to its expanding presence in Birmingham.
“They have been delighted with the new offices and facilities provided,” Ravi commented. “The management team at UBC 65 Church Street, including Sue Barlow, Mollie-Ann Price and Chris Price, have been extremely helpful and kind to ensure a smooth move without any difficulties.”
Birmingham’s £600m masterplan
As for the future, 65 Church Street occupies a promising position. Particularly as a new £600million development scheme has just been announced for the city’s business district, in which 65 Church Street is centrally located.
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The 20-year masterplan provides a framework to generate thousands of new jobs, improve transport links and boost the local economy by £600m each year. It is expected to encourage more firms in the business, professional and financial services (BPFS) sector to relocate to Birmingham.
“Birmingham is putting in place the building blocks for a global business and financial centre,” said city council leader Sir Albert Bore. “The city is already investing heavily to ensure that firms have everything they need to thrive here. With time, we want the city to replicate the success of Canary Wharf, with areas like the Snow Hill district forming the cornerstone of this vision.”
Birmingham’s BPFS sector is the largest outside of London, generating £15bn per year across the wider West Midlands region.Share this article