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A NOTTINGHAM organisation that rents out office space says it has seen an increase in the number of businesses wanting to move from the city centre and into local communities.


Castle Cavendish, which runs two serviced office centres in Radford and Lenton, says there has been a huge shift in how small and medium-sized businesses want to relocate as a result of the pandemic.

Chief executive Dave Brennan said:

“We are getting a daily influx of enquiries from smaller city centre-based businesses that are moving out as they don’t see the sense in having that location anymore. 

“A lot of work is now undertaken through online communications and more people are working from home. It now makes perfect sense for them to have a facility or workspace on the edge of the city that’s got secure parking, fast broadband and that provides facilities like we do such as a reception, among other services.”

As well as its serviced office space at Castle Cavendish Works and Castle Cavendish Enterprise Centre, its £1.6m property portfolio includes a former Victorian school, Tennyson Hall, also in Radford, along with retail properties on Alfreton Road.

Castle Cavendish is a registered charity but sees itself more as a ‘social impact company’. It uses a proportion of the income from its properties to plough back into its charitable activities. Pre-pandemic, this amounted to just under £80,000 and, along with its other funding, invested over £450,000 into community projects across much of the inner-city wards. 

Like many, the company had been slightly concerned last year when requests for office space fell as more people began working from home. 

“We were up to about 95 per cent occupancy before the pandemic and that dropped to 60 per cent. We thought we might struggle as the property market was going through some turbulence,” said Dave.

“But we feel more confident now because of the ripple effect of other businesses making decisions to relocate or downsize but maintaining their desire to stay in the Nottingham city area. By the end of September, if all goes to plan, we will be almost fully occupied.

“It looks like many businesses are looking at their working models and are downsizing and using a more blended approach but at the same time, they need some kind of workspace – a key base for going into the office maybe one or two times a week and for things like storing equipment and hard copies of files.”

Castle Cavendish offers a range of office sizes on a fixed-fee basis and with ‘easy-in’ and ‘easy-out’ terms. Its clients range from private firms such as solicitors and estate agents to charities and organisations working with children and young people.

Dave added:

“Some people want a workspace, but many don’t actually want it five days a week. They can rent a space for two days a week, then we give it a deep clean and rent it out for another two days a week to someone else.”

There has also been increased interest in ‘virtual tenancies’ where clients working from home can have a business address, admin facilities and secure mailbox with a postal forwarding service and telephone support.

One of its clients is the Break Barriers care agency, which supports people in their own homes in the Nottinghamshire area.

Finance manager Ropa Muntanga said:

“We have been here for four years and we currently have no intention of moving. The only reason we would have to move is because we have outgrown the space available. We will stay until we absolutely have to move.

“Castle Cavendish are beyond flexible; they have never said no to any of our queries. When the pandemic started, we were worried about our finances and they supported us with our rent and also arranged a meeting to discuss our needs and concerns; every single one was met.”

Castle Cavendish also works closely with Nottingham City Council, co-ordinating its Area-Based Grants to help a range of community and voluntary sector organisations. They include those supporting young people, community hubs and employment and skills projects in areas such as Basford, Berridge, Sherwood, Hyson Green, Radford, Lenton and The Meadows. 

The organisation is also looking to rebrand its flagship centre, Castle Cavendish Works, into a new ‘social impact centre’ in the near future, ensuring that all its business tenants and users have a ‘social purpose’ and are more ethically and environmentally aware.

“We are trying to do things differently, in the way that we procure our services, the way we mitigate our effect on the environment, the way that we act ethically and responsibly,” said Dave.

“We’re keen to encourage businesses to consider how they could have more of a social impact as well, influencing them to do things locally. It’s our way of having a sense of corporate social responsibility – it’s not just the big companies that should do this, but smaller businesses should try to as well.

“By doing this, we will enable Castle Cavendish Works not just to provide us with sustainable income to invest in our communities, but for it to minimise its carbon footprint and to make a local impact too, achieving the triple bottom line of a social, environmental and financial return.” 

To find out more about Castle Cavendish, visit the website, email or call 0115 900 3100

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