16 March 2016

Gloucester business centre is talk of the town

Customers at our Gloucester business centre have been featured in the Gloucester Citizen, highlighting the variety of businesses that call us home.

Customers at our business centre in Gloucester have been featured in our local paper, the Gloucester Citizen, highlighting the variety of businesses based here.

Morelands Trading Estate is a landmark building in Gloucester and started life as the Old England match factory, which was one of the city’s biggest employers. The centre is named in honour of the family who ran the factory, which closed in 1976. Now the site is a bustling business centre with 106 customers and has reached 96% capacity.

It is thanks to the hard work, creative thinking and care of our team that the centre is home to such a thriving business community.  It has undergone a full restoration, retaining many attractive original features.

Developing the centre for local businesses

Business Centre Manager, Jackie Houslop, explains: “When the site first became Morelands Trading Estate, the customer base was mainly manufacturing and engineering businesses. But with the decline in these types of industries during the recession, I had to look at ways in which to develop the site and make it work for local people and businesses.”

When Jackie came to the centre 2007, the demand for large units was falling and Gloucester City Council had unveiled ambitious regeneration plans to attract new businesses to the area. Jackie came up with the idea of creating smaller units and splitting larger premises into communal offices to accommodate a wider range of customers.

She says: “This has been a great success and we have a niche in the market to offer small and start-up businesses affordable space. Our licence is great for giving businesses the flexibility they need and this has worked well.”

Diverse companies all come together

Since 2007, Morelands Trading Estate has been home to an incredibly diverse selection of businesses and organisations.  We’re really proud of all our customers, and were delighted when we see them receive the recognition they deserve in the local paper. 

Current customers include:

  • Range Martial Arts, a martial arts training gym
  • Gloucestershire Cheer and Dance Academy, a school for cheerleaders
  • Strike Force Close Quarter Battle - the largest Airsoft ‘skirmish’ site in Europe. This is the largest unit at the business centre and has been host to a range of events and competitions, including the European Practical Pistol Championship.

The centre has even been a filming location for the pilot episode of a zombie comedy show called Z Pozitive.

Creating a community

Jackie says: “The site offers businesses the opportunity to work together and support one another, which in turn has created a strong community. Everyone helps everyone else and businesses have flourished and expanded on site.

“My aim has always been to make the site work for local people and be a major part of Gloucester and the community again.”

In 2013, artist Russell Haines, who rents a unit at the site, worked with Jackie to start a highly successful community art project. Russell brightened up the walls in outdoor communal areas with colourful murals of butterflies and flowers, as well as portraits of some of the trading estate’s customers.  A dedicated area of wall was set aside for young people from the area to express themselves creatively.

While Jackie has helped Morelands Trading Estate make a fresh start, it has also represented a new beginning for her as well. She took the job as Business Centre Manager four months after moving to Gloucester from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire in June 2007.

She say: “I came here on my own for a new start. I had a brother in Gloucester, who worked for Rank Xerox and got relocated here many years ago.”

Before working for Bizspace, she had spent nine years working in a theatre.

She adds: “I worked my way up to Bars and Catering Manager overseeing all the shows and functions so this job was completely different and a new challenge.  I love what I do. It’s great to meet so many new people and to be a part of helping businesses to develop and achieve their goals.”

Variety of workspace

Morelands Trading Estate offers a combination of offices, workshops, industrial units and studios, as well as a spacious meeting room for hire.

To find out more about the centre, please contact Jackie on 01452 311 421. Or, you can learn more about our offices to rent in Gloucester online.