At 101 Cardiff, left to right, Damon Chapple with Mark Sutton of Knight Frank and Gary Carver of Savills.
University courses driving surge in software engineering firms across Wales
Wales is becoming a hotspot for recruitment as the region continues to attract new investment and homegrown companies expand
The latest Government figures are good news for the future of the economy, with production output in Wales for the last quarter of 2016 up by 2.9 per cent compared with the previous four quarters - the UK only managed 1.2 per cent over the same period. And with manufacturing output up by 3.3 per cent compared with the UK’s 0.7 per cent, the signs are good.
Businesses are setting up and growing – and they will all need to recruit. One spin-off of that growth is that the specialist sector that supports recruitment firms with financing and planning strategies are also on the up.
Sonovate, which focusses on the finance side of the operation, has just expanded into new offices on the fourth floor of the landmark 101 Cardiff building on St Mary Street and is regarded as the UK’s fastest-growing provider of finance to recruitment agencies, working with more than 1,000 active clients.
Joint CEO Damon Chapple, said he had always been based in Wales, where he housed his Tech, Finance, Product, Risk and Customer Services operations, while keeping Sales and Marketing in London. He told BQ Cardiff’s thriving digital economy was a key driving force.
“Since we launched, business has gone from strength to strength. To accommodate our continuous rapid growth, we realised we needed to find a new home for the business in Cardiff. Cardiff is a hub of tech activity. Top universities are churning out students, fully qualified in Software Engineering and more technology-specific courses are scheduled to be launched in the near future.
“There has also been a surge in start ups, with more than 100 new businesses launching between 2011 and 2015. Having an office in the heart of Cardiff is key to access this growing bank of tech talent.
“Contract recruitment is a continuously growing industry. There are more than 2m contractors in the UK, with more than one million people working on live placements at any one time. With more and more companies looking to employ contractors, recruitment agencies have experienced an increased demand for their services. And this surge in contracting shows no signs of slowing down, making recruitment an exciting industry to work in.
“To continue to grow and push the boundaries as a business, Sonovate realised they needed to create an optimum working environment that truly reflected their business. With communal workspaces and a broad, open plan office space, this is the perfect environment for Sonovate’s team to push the business to another level of growth.”
All that growth is also good news for the commercial property market, with Knight Frank helping Sonovate move in on a five-year lease on the 6,461 sq ft. fourth floor.
Mark Sutton, partner in the office agency team of Knight Frank in Cardiff said: “Sonovate is a fast-growing technology business and Richard and Damon were seeking premises that would accommodate their rapid expansion as well as reflecting the nature of the business – 101 Cardiff was a stand-out option for them.”
The recent refurbishment of the former Golate House office building, now rebranded 101 Cardiff, provides an on-trend stripped-back style, with concrete ceilings and exposed columns.
Following the letting to Sonovate there is 6,450 sq ft remaining on the refurbished 3rd floor of 101 Cardiff and with the potential to subdivide the floor to create opportunities for occupiers of 2,500 sq ft and 3,500 sq ft.
Gary Carver of Savills who acted on behalf of the landlord said: “We are seeing increasing pressure on the supply of high quality city centre offices, with only 1 year’s supply of Grade A space currently available. 101 Cardiff offers occupiers a ‘defurbished’ style at rates well below the latest new office buildings being developed nearby and the remaining space is already attracting a flurry of interest and viewings.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement