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Space Solutions, Scotland’s leading workplace design experts, is predicting another year of impressive growth fuelled by its specialist service in helping businesses to succeed during the credit crunch.

Space Solutions Directors

Space Solutions Directors

Latest annual figures (for year end to 30 June) for Space Solutions, which completed a management buy-out in July 2007, saw it achieve record turnover of £12.8 million.

But the company, which has its head office in Aberdeen with bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Peterborough, is forecasting sales to surge to £15.5 million for 2008-09 – a 22% increase – as it benefits from a soaring order book.

Space Solutions is Scotland’s biggest independent expert in helping businesses manage changes within the workplace. It operates UK-wide to design, build, fit out, refurbish and relocate modern and productive business environments.

But it is the firm’s meticulous approach to the science of space planning and workplace analysis, which is supporting an ever-growing number of businesses who face difficulties because of rising overheads or a failure to find finance for expansion, that is helping drive up expansion.

Managing Director Steve Judge said the future for Space Solutions is looking extremely bright.

He said: “We are delighted that turnover for the last financial year was ahead of expectations.  It was the first full year after our MBO so it’s a sign of our commitment to consistently exceed client expectations that we were able to exceed our sales targets.

“But it’s over the next year, that we expect to see very exciting times for Space Solutions.

“We are budgeting for a £15.5m turnover – up more than 20% – for our next year-end, which in the current difficult times is a sure sign of the continued confidence so many businesses are putting in us.

“In fact September represented our best month ever, recording a £1m+ increase in turnover than September 2007.”

Steve said a significant share of its recent success has been with businesses wanting to make more efficient use of their business space during the economic downturn – it recorded an estimated 22% increase in contracts across the Central Belt as firms of all sizes make changes to their premises to better cope with volatile market conditions.

Steve added: “There’s a real air of gloom around the property market, so it may be surprising to hear that, as a business whose entire currency is property, we are actually doing very well at the moment.

“Companies being forced to manage overheads and dramatically reshape operations to face up to the current economic climate may not be realising the full potential of one of their greatest assets – their property.

“We offer to undertake a comprehensive review of a clients’ property requirements and to provide advice on how to more efficiently occupy their space.  

“With proper workplace analysis and space planning, businesses are finding they can make significant savings or create vital additional space for an expansion they thought was impossible because of difficulties securing bank finance.”

In one case, Space Solutions worked with a major company to identify so much wastage in unnecessary storage, it was able to free up an entire floor of the building.

As a result, the firm has now sublet 1500 sq ft and has been able to focus more money and attention on long-term growth because it freed up so much additional capital.

Although founded in 1997, Space Solutions’ senior management team – lead by Steve Judge – completed a MBO In July 2007.

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Workplace experts say their business is booming as Aberdeen faces up to a space shortage.

Record oil prices are keeping the local economy buoyant, with many Granite City businesses escaping the worst of the credit crunch.

But with commercial property at a premium in the city, experts expect more businesses will need to creatively renovate existing premises to cope with growth.

Since it was founded in Aberdeen in 1997, Space Solutions has become Scotland’s leading independent specialist in the design, build, fit-out, refurbishment and relocation of modern and productive business environments.

Steve Judge, Managing Director

Steve Judge, Managing Director

 

Managing Director Steve Judge believes it is inevitable more companies will be looking to redesign existing bases over the coming months.

He added: “There is limited good quality commercial property in Aberdeen, which is ironic because the city is one of the few places that is escaping the worst of the credit crunch and there is still a high demand.

“With oil prices at a record high the reality is that the economy here is healthy and businesses are thriving. Frankly, there isn’t enough commercial property to accommodate the kind of growth we are seeing. Because of the demand, what property is available is expensive.

“Aberdeen is not immune to the world economy, albeit the oil sector is shielding us somewhat. Developers are less likely to build commercial property speculatively which is fueling demand.

“We believe businesses should start to look more carefully at what can be achieved in their existing premises. The good news is that we can usually help them make dramatic improvements to solve challenges with provision and use of space.”

During the last major economic slowdown of the 1990s, when oil prices hit rock bottom, Space Solutions witnessed a surge in demand for its services with companies looking to reduce property overheads. During that 18 month period companies enlisted Space Solutions for moving premises and rationalising space.

Steve added: “We provide services that allow companies to cope with change from an accommodation perspective. Companies are likely to look at this when upsizing, downsizing or merging – the market conditions clearly have a bearing on this.

“The oil sector in Aberdeen has always involved large numbers of itinerant contractors, so we have worked with many businesses which need to contract or expand their workplaces quickly and efficiently.

“That means we have unrivalled expertise in this type of work and we expect that to be crucial in the coming months. We are very much looking forward to helping businesses adapt to meet the challenges of the current market and doing our bit to ensure Aberdeen’s economy continues to thrive.”

Companies are often amazed by just how much they are under-utilising their space. Properly planned workplaces can accommodate more people, increase efficiency and productivity, streamline storage.

The Space Solutions team boasts expertise in architecture, space planning and design, construction, project management and commercial relocations. These are available as individual services or as start-to-finish solution.

The company, that has five bases in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Peterborough, has noticed a marked difference between the needs of the North-east and Central Belt markets.

It recently launched a Sustainability Service, advising businesses how to reduce their carbon footprint while also reducing energy costs. Businesses which are altering their premises can take advantage of many fuel, waste and water efficiencies.

Space Solutions had a turnover of £12 million last year and employs 130 people.

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