Flexible office space snapped up quickly

Neil Wilson, Maxine Lock and Peter Richardson.
Neil Wilson, Maxine Lock and Peter Richardson.

Three office pods, created by a north Northumberland development trust, have been snapped up by budding businesses from the area.

As reported in the Gazette, the Glendale Gateway Trust has used a garden courtyard at the rear of its Cheviot Centre in Wooler on which to site the pods.

The Trust has used £250,000 secured through Defra’s Rural Growth Fund to finance the purchase of the pods as well as converting another three rooms into more small office space and setting up a smart work centre with three ‘hot desks’ that can be hired by local businesses, individuals or community groups.

The Trust’s asset development manager, Neil Wilson, said: “We could have simply applied to build a brick extension at the back of the centre, but we wanted to do something more innovative and imaginative than that, hence the idea of bringing in the pods.

“Even before we started thinking about marketing them we had tenants for all three.”

They include an IT consultant, a social enterprise business specialising in outdoor education and first aid training, and an online marketing company.

All the pods are operated on an easy-in, easy-out basis with a rolling monthly contract and can cost from as little as £1,000 a year to rent.

Maxine Lock, who has just moved her Journey to Self Ltd business into one of the pods said it was its uniqueness as an office that attracted her to the idea of renting it.

“No one has an office quite like we have here at the Cheviot Centre,” she said. “It is just the job for a business like mine.”

IT Consultant Peter Richardson pointed to the attractive rental terms for start-up businesses, adding: “We also have the availability of the full support and backing of centre staff, which is of great assistance to a small businesses like mine.”

The Glendale Gateway Trust is one of 16 Federation of Northumberland Development Trusts (FoNDT).