Offering an incubation environment and virtual office packages; Mercury House has 27 offices in total and has nurtured hundreds of start-ups from their early days through to business growth.
Karen Martin and Lisa Duff drew on the support of NBV Enterprise Solutions in 2006 to start their business, Advance Care Training, now based at Mercury House. They took some time out to talk about their experiences as tenants, and how NBV’s services have helped their business develop.
Thanks for meeting with me today. To start, can you tell me a little about your business?
Lisa: We are Advance Care Training and we are a private training provider. We provide training and vocational learning programmes for people in the health and social care sector.
Karen and I are the Directors; we both have formal teaching and nursing qualifications and expertise, and experience, working within the NHS.
The courses we provide include safeguarding training; Autism and Autistic spectrum conditions; learning disability and self-harm, among others. We are also an accredited assessment centre delivering qualifications to apprentices, health and social care staff, and managers up to QCF level 8.
What drew you to Mercury House?
Lisa: Cost was the primary factor in our decision. We viewed several offices across Nottingham that were a lot more expensive and didn’t offer the full range of facilities, such as meeting rooms, which are available at Mercury House. We have a lot of students coming through for training, so hiring a meeting space on each occasion would increase costs considerably.
Karen: Also, we have all the support we require. We can call upon the advice of the business advisers and make the most of a professional service such as the reception, car parking space and great training rooms which, in turn, make us look good as a business.
Was it easy to move into your office?
Lisa: Initially we were going to have a virtual package but then we decided to jump straight in and rent an office space. But it was easy; I came in to discuss the tenancy options and signed up.
Karen: The ease and support is great for new business. We had nothing when we arrived; we were provided phones, desks, cabinets and we had support acquiring computers. It was great that everything was provided to help us through the initial stages when we were generating little to no income.
You have been tenants at Mercury House for a number of years, what keeps you here?
Karen: Many places we looked at had no reception, or lacked car parking. We work with a lot of learners who are young and in the early stages of working in care, so they don’t have much money to spend on transport. The transport links here are fantastic and they can easily find us via bus or tram.
Lisa: And a lot of our clients like us being at Mercury House because we aren’t in the city centre, yet not so far out of town that we are difficult to get to.
How has Mercury House benefited your business?
Lisa: It’s a nice place to work, and all the people here are lovely. Everyone is at hand to help, and the IT support has been a godsend. It is accessible and, what’s more, you know what your rent entails every month as there are no hidden costs.
Karen: Mercury House is in an iconic building; everyone knows where it is as they know the old Shipstone’s brewery, so it supports our professional image. It has everything you need: a supportive environment with such lovely staff, at a reasonable price and great facilities. It is a great place to come to work every day.