An international consultancy, which opened an office in Middlesbrough in 2018 in anticipation of the unprecedented investment in industry, infrastructure and technology in the Tees Valley, has joined the growing ranks of high-profile businesses moving to Centre Square.
The Frazer-Nash Consultancy said its new base will allow it to keep growing and – crucially – help recruit staff.
“We will struggle to attract talent from the wider North East if we’re not near good transport links and amenities, and being in the middle of town helps us hugely with that,” said Chris Jones, Group Leader in the North East.
His team of consultants specialise in the chemical process, rail and pharmaceutical industries. They develop, enhance and protect their clients’ critical assets, systems and processes.
Mr Jones was one of just two employees when Frazer-Nash decided to “find its feet” in the region by taking office space at the Materials Process Institute in South Bank. That number has now risen to nine. They are part of a business which has 1000 staff based in the UK and Australia. Last year Frazer-Nash was bought for $400m by US-based KBR which employs nearly 30,000 people across the globe.
Mr Jones identified the Grade A offices in Centre Square as the ideal next step not long after moving to Middlesbrough: “I looked at quite a few places and I saw Centre Square before we needed it. If COVID-19 hadn’t happened I suspect all of it would have been let.”
He added: “But we grew during the pandemic and reached the point of needing to move to a strategically better location.
“Without Centre Square I don’t think we’d have found anywhere else in Middlesbrough and might have had to cast a wider net.”
Frazer-Nash joins GB Bank, pension specialist XPS, Barristers and GB Bank in 2 Centre Square. Only 5,500 sq ft of the 34,000 sq ft building is still available. Firstsource and Causeway Technologies occupy 1 Centre Square and next year 450 AXA UK staff will move to a new building – 6 Centre Square – which is half-way through construction. The Centre Square developer Ashall Projects has also obtained planning permission for a third phase.
Managing Director Mark Ashall said Frazer-Nash’s arrival underlines Centre Square’s standing as the new hub for business in the Tees Valley.
“All of these companies are bringing high quality jobs and much-needed spending power back to the heart of Middlesbrough, and that’s of huge benefit to the shops, restaurants and other businesses located in the town centre,” he said.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “The best office space in the region is right here in Middlesbrough, and it’s being snapped up by dynamic businesses with a real eye on the future.
“I’m delighted to welcome Frazer-Nash to Centre Square which will be the perfect setting for the company’s continued growth and development.
“These are challenging times for all of us, but that will never dent our desire to drive Middlesbrough forward as a regional powerhouse for jobs, enterprise and investment.”