Fledgling businesses are looking forward to a bright future at the Bicester Innovation Centre.
Dawn Hutchison, director of Build Your Own Business (BYOB), has spoken about how the business she launched by “accident” has gone from strength-to-strength since arriving at the Telford Road facilities in March.
She said: “BYOB came into existence, almost by accident. After 10 years of working in accountancy and payroll practice, I went to help my brother-in-law manage his day-to-day admin and financial tasks. Then I met a man in a pub who needed some help. From there I started to build a portfolio of regular clients and even spent a year turning down work because I was flat out. It made sense to try and build the business so I could help more people.
“I came across Bicester Innovation Centre when I was looking for an office to allow me to hire my first employees. It’s great to have a professional space to bring clients. The receptionists are always really helpful, and all the team here have made me feel really welcome. I still get a buzz from having my company name on the door.”
Offering a range of fully-serviced private offices and shared spaces for between one and 15 employees, tenants benefit from flexible agreements that have as little as one month’s notice.
Gina Kipping, Centre Manager, said: “Our centre gives you the freedom to get the right balance for your business, with space that can grow and change as you do. Our prices are all easily laid out, hassle-free and low risk, giving you complete peace of mind. And the best bit? You’ll be in amongst our community of entrepreneurs, with a full calendar of events, workshops and networking opportunities to get involved in. There is nothing we enjoy more than witnessing the companies flourish under our care, our team are here to support businesses in their infancy and lead them on the road to success, expanding with us until their eventually fly the nest.”
Chartered accountant, Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, founder of Bambury & Co accountancy firm, qualified as a chartered accountant in 1974 and came out of retirement to relaunch his own business.
He said: “My last full time role was as Secretary & Executive Director of The Magistrates Association, based in London and looking after some 25,000 magistrates (Justices of the Peace). Just after I retired from there a friend in Bicester was off to the Falklands. I agreed to house sit for him. After a month or two of retirement I got a tad bored and so I screwed my brass plate to his garden gate. The rest is history.
“For four years I was at the other end of Telford Road in Enterprise House. At best there were only eight businesses in there including myself, and so the networking opportunities were very limited. The Bicester Innovation Centre is, of course, completely different.
“Here there are many more businesses to interact with, on site and at the other Innovation Centres, and the ever smiling reception staff. It’s super convenient for location, great for when I have clients coming to meet with me. The fact that someone answers my phones for me and deals with my post gives a real professional impression, and saves me from having to hire a receptionist or admin help. I also like knowing that the conference room is available to me if I need it.
“I’m working on two exciting new projects. I have had an app written for my practice to make life easier for my clients. It allows them to access their cloud acounting systems. The other project is to do with GDPR. I am very conscious that email is a very insecure method of communication. Apart from continuing to develop the Bambury & Co app, I plan to expand the number of clients and be in a position to take on staff and move to a bigger office.
“I first created a simple computer program using punched cards in 1969 – I now want to be at the front of the app revolution!”
Managed by Oxford Innovation, The Bicester Innovation Centre, located at Commerce House on Telford Road, provides a base to 31 growing businesses.
Located within walking distance of Bicester North Station, Bicester Innovation Centre offers free parking and is located an equal distance from London and Birmingham, reachable from junctions 9 and 10 of the M40 in 60 minutes. It has great bus and train links reaching Oxford in less than 20 minutes via the new train service.
Currently offering one month free for any new sign ups that occupy an office by 29th February, facilities include self-contained offices for one to 15 people as well as meeting rooms, networking opportunities and a manned reception. The centre currently has five offices available ranging from 106 sq ft and 822 sq ft.
To find out more about any of the services available at the centre, or to arrange a viewing, please contact the Bicester Innovation Centre team on 01869 255 800 or visit: www.bicester-ic.co.uk
Oxford Innovation manage a UK network of Innovation Centres that provides the ideal environment for over 900 start-ups and SMEs to grow. Our centres are managed on behalf of public and private sector building owners that require a high quality service that reliably delivers financial returns, whilst contributing to the economic growth of the regions in which we operate. For more information go to www.oxin-centres.co.uk