How a former Bank of England stronghold is helping Gloucestershire businesses grow

In a post-pandemic world, it seems firms do need office space after all, and a former Bank of England building overlooking Gloucester Docks is fast-becoming a hotbed for businesses to base themselves for growth.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Southgate House, a former home of the Bank of England, now home to business hot-spot FigFlex Offices Gloucester.

A building once created for the Bank of England in the centre of Gloucester now has a very different role - but no less valuable – as a catalyst for the growth of a whole new generation of businesses.

When it was built in the early 1990s, the imposing four-storey Southgate House overlooking Gloucester Docks, located just off the city centre, was for the national bank.

Now, it is under the management of FigFlex, a specialist provider of flexible workspace for businesspeople, and it is proving a draw for numerous growing businesses.

Mandy Sibley, building and centre manager for the firm in Gloucester, which also has offices in cities including London, Swindon, Hull and Coventry, said: 'We currently have 25 companies here and growing, ranging from the care sector, patent lawyers and pest control to financial services and marketing.’

It is also home to international insurance business, Pro Global.

Inside Southgate House, now home to business work space FigFlex Offices Gloucester.

It is working, according to FigFlex, because after the Covid-19 pandemic put a giant question mark over the future of the work place and what that should be, the workspace is providing an answer with a simple formula ­– delivering what business people want.

‘FigFlex is a serviced office provider offering bespoke and flexible solutions to businesses of all sizes. Our products range from private offices able to accommodate between one and 100 workstations, meeting rooms, co-working, as well as virtual office packages,’ said Sibley.

‘We have a dedicated on-site management team, there to support our clients with whatever they may need. We are fully flexible with monthly rolling contracts and if businesses are looking to expand, we can help facilitate that growth with a bigger space.’

The flexibility and eclectic mix of businesses and entrepreneurs is creating more than just a convenient place to work for firms from on to 100 staff, it is helping companies grow without worrying about the need for expensive bricks and mortar or how they will accommodate more staff.

‘There is a great sense of community here at FigFlex and we offer regular workshops and some of our clients here have even gone on to work together after meeting here,’ added Sibley.

Southgate House can even accommodate companies that are between headquarters and need a temporary home on a rolling monthly contract.

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