Former Plymouth office block transformed into work units

A former Plymouth office block has been transformed into work units and is aiming to attract start-up enterprises and people who want to move away from home working.

Already two tech businesses have moved into Huxley House, a 2,400sq ft, two-storey building in Newnham Industrial Estate, in the Plympton area of the city, and now the entire pile is being marketed.

It contains five business suites, of different sizes, and a reception and meeting room, and is being offered with “easy in, easy out” tenancies from just a month.

South West commercial property in the news

It was formerly the headquarters of construction firm Ryearch, but it moved to a larger building, which it built itself, in a £3.2m office block cluster it created at nearby Sandy Court, in 2018.

Contract and dispute management consultancy Environmental Infrastructure Associates Ltd (EIA) bought the building and moved in in 2018.

The company, which had previously rented offices in central Plymouth, invested heavily to upgrade the building and put in new infrastructure. But the building is too large for EIA’s needs and computer systems specialist Total ICT became the first tenant.

Huxley House, on Plymouth’s Newnham Industrial Estate

Former Plymouth office block transformed into work units
Inside Huxley House, on Plymouth’s Newnham Industrial Estate

Former Plymouth office block transformed into work units
Jacqueline Cant, owner of Skymind Studios, which has moved into Plymouth’s Huxley House

EIA director Simon Worley and Total ICT director Neil Bailey have now set up a company called Huxley Hub Ltd to run the building. Mr Worley said: “I have known Neil for years. He did my IT. So this is a natural fit.”

Video, photography and graphic design company Skymind Studios has already moved into one of the smaller units, and Mr Worley said other spaces would be ideal for a range of business types, from tech to financial services.

Mr Bailey added: “We have already had a lot of inquiries from media-style businesses. People have been putting the feelers out.”

Mr Worley thinks office space such as that at Huxley House will attract self-employed people, or micro businesses, which have been home-working during the pandemic year but now want to move out and connect with similar businesses.

Former Plymouth office block transformed into work units

Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

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“Sitting at home can feel tedious,” he said. “You don’t feel part of an organisation. But here we are trying to create a community feel.”

And he added: “It could also suit start-ups that need more space. This is an interim space, easy in, easy out.”

Huxley House, which is in Huxley Close, and near to the main A38 artery, has five business suites in a range of sizes, to suit one person, two, three or even more. A permutation of suites could be made available if more space is needed, with walls even removed if necessary. One of the suites comes with its own entrance, staircase and washroom facilities.

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