Owners and tenants of Teesside’s most luxurious office space celebrate a year since it first opened its doors for business
In the heart of Stockton, Gloucester House on Church Road has a history spanning 250 years. The Grade II listed Georgian townhouse started life as an impressive residence on Stockton’s Paradise Row before becoming a hotel and much later a planning office for the local authority, as well as home to e-commerce company Visualsoft.
Current owners Jeff and Caroline Highfield purchased the property in 2016 and set about a three-month refurbishment plan which saw £1m invested into the property.
This week marks a year since Gloucester House opened its doors, offering premium office suites from 114 sq ft to 550 sq ft across three floors, high levels of security, including access control with key-less entry and high definition CCTV. Tenants also benefit from exceptionally fast 500Mb free internet access and 125 free parking spaces.
Jeff, who was brought up in Roseworth, Stockton said: “There is a growing entrepreneurial culture in the area and we recognised a real shortage of flexible business space in and around Stockton. A year in, the building is 80% occupied with a variety of businesses who benefit from the growing environment which encourages businesses to network and create opportunities of working together.”
Businesses operating from Gloucester House include Hartlepool and Stockton Health, Silverlink Clinics, Next Level Security Services and Bespoke Financial, who have recently relocated their entire team to the Stockton building.
Sharon Starkey, Managing Director of Resolution Communications, who were one of the first tenants in Gloucester House and have seen their staff numbers treble since moving in, said: “We are proud advocates of the town and feel incredibly lucky to be based in Gloucester House. There is a thriving business community evolving between tenants which aligns with the positive development and improvements we are seeing on the high street.”
Community is a key feature and tenants are supported with regular tenant events including business updates from the region along with an opportunity to profile their business to colleagues. A calendar of social events supports the ideology and tenants are procuring services from each other.
Karen Hindhaugh, BID Manager of Stockton Business Improvement District attended the celebrations and said: “The positive redevelopment of the town is attracting new investment and Gloucester House has placed Stockton as a serious contender for businesses looking for office facilities. As businesses locate in Stockton, they bring with them employees who can make use of the facilities and services within the town centre.”
During Margot James’ country wide engagement tour, the minister visited Stockton-On-Tees to host an Industrial Strategy roundtable. The meeting discussed how diversity can strengthen the governments industrial strategy.
The business minister had the opportunity to meet with businesses within the region and hear their opinions on the matter, with the aim “to find out directly from businesses how the industrial strategy can support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”
Business Minister Margot James said:
“Diversity and inclusion are key to the UK economy maximising its potential. Through our modern Industrial Strategy and investment in the Northern Powerhouse, we are building an economy that works for everyone and I enjoyed talking to employers in the North East about how we can work together to build on the regions strengths, raise living standards and create new, well-paid jobs in other industries and sectors.”
During Margot James’ appointment she visited the Grade II Listed building Gloucester House, which has recently undergone a £1m refurbishment, transforming it into luxury offices. With 20 businesses based in the business centre it was a great opportunity for the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility to discuss diversity in the workplace with local businesses.
Jeff Highfield, owner of Gloucester House said: “The Tees Valley is a unique place to live and work. We are experts at working innovatively with the resources available, whilst delivering amazing results. Those organisations that embrace diversity will be in a position to offer a more varied service to their clients, tap into a variety of skills and support global trading.”
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “The refurbishment of Gloucester House is a real success story and it’s great to see so many businesses choosing to locate so close to Stockton High Street. It’s a big vote of confidence in all that we’re striving to achieve and I’m delighted the building’s owner and businesses have had an opportunity to tell the minister about all the good work going on here.”
Grade II listed Gloucester House, situated on Church Road, Stockton-On-Tees, was once an impressive residence on Stockton’s historic Paradise Row before becoming a hotel and a planning office for the Council. Now, following an extensive three-month refurbishment, it has been transformed into 42 luxury offices.
The historic building - described as a "jewel in the crown of the towns business community" - is home to 20 growing firms, with 22 office spaces still available.
The building, previously occupied by ecommerce company Visual Soft, was bought and developed by its current owner Jeff Highfield.
Tenants include businesses such as Silverlink Clinics, Enable Care, Next Level Security Services, Resolution Communications and BHP Law.
Today, chief executive of Stockton Borough Council, Neil Schneider, said "Its great to see more and more businesses choosing to set up home in and around Stockton town centre, which is a real vote of confidence in all the town centre has to offer.
"Gloucester House is a beautiful building and is in an advantageous location for further business growth thanks to its close proximity to the High Street and easy access to the local transport links, the A66 and A19.
“We are a business friendly Borough and wish Jeff well in this venture, which is attracting exciting companies to join our business community.”
Mr Highfield, originally from Roseworth in Stockton, said “I wanted to give something back to the area I grew up and be part of the ongoing regeneration of Stockton and the wider area.
“There was a real shortage of flexible business space in and around Stockton, particularly when there is a growing entrepreneurial culture in the area.
“Our building provides the perfect environment for micro and small businesses to grow and we’re delighted with the range of companies who have become tenants. The challenge now is to fill the remaining offices which we’re confident we’ll do in the coming months.”
Gloucester House offers fast free internet access, free parking with 125 spaces, and various office sizes to meet the dynamic growth of every business. There is a manned reception, meeting room, kitchen facilities, and each room has its own intercom.
The building, which houses office suits from 114 sq ft to 550 sq ft across three floors, has high levels of security including access control key-less entry, high definition CCTV, monitored intruder alarm and video door entry.
For more information on Gloucester House, and how the serviced offices could help your business call 01642 424700.
BHP Law has moved into newly-refurbished offices in Gloucester House Business Centre, Stockton, becoming one of the region’s first firm to relocate to the recently-transformed, Grade II listed premises.
Taking part of the ground floor of the site, found on Church Road, the company’s new Teesside base is situated just a short walk from Stockton high street.
John Pratt, managing partner of BHP Law, said: "It’s always been our ethos to be accessible for our clients and Gloucester House’s central location brings us closer to our existing clients on Teesside and any for whom Stockton is a convenient meeting place.
"It’s an attractive building which has been sympathetically refurbished and we’re happy to be supporting the conservation of historic old buildings like Gloucester House.
"All the firm’s legal services can be accessed at the office via appointment with specialist solicitors able to meet both private and business clients with facilities available to host meetings for larger groups.
Managing partner John Pratt said: "We’re delighted with the response to our new Teesside base which has been really busy from day one as it’s in the ideal location for clients to drop off documents or meet a solicitor while they’re in town. The office is on a major bus route and we have free parking next to the building.
“It’s also convenient for our many business clients who are based in Teesside, with the option to park here and use our additional meeting facilities.”
Specialist markets, top-class events and quirky independent shops are all features of Stockton town centre’s rise following its £38million regeneration.
And now the town is proving a magnet for businesses, with companies ranging from solicitors’ firms to exciting digital start-ups laying down roots there. The regeneration project was led by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, and shows how public sector leadership can attract private sector investment.
A fine example of this is Beaumont House, on Church Road. Its landlord and manager of Reefstream Ltd, Jeff Highfield, is a proud Stocktonian himself and wanted to play his part in bringing more business to the area.
Last year, Jeff invested approximately £350,000 in revamping Beaumont House and selling office space to local companies.
Since then Beaumont House has gained many occupants within the building, including your very own Gossip Magazine and Devlin Walker Ltd.
The success has inspired Jeff to undertake another renovation project with neighbouring building Gloucester House. He plans to make it into around 40 luxury offices all with 500MB Internet, an onsite car park with 130 spaces, and conference facilities with gym and pool facilities right on the doorstep.
The Council’s Chief Executive, Neil Schneider, said: “It’s great to see more and more businesses choosing to take up residence in and around Stockton town centre and it’s a real vote of confidence in all the town centre has to offer.
“We are a business friendly Borough and wish Jeff well in this venture, which will see more exciting companies join our business community.” And in March, the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, visited Beaumont House to see for himself the positive impact created by bringing businesses into Stockton.