Newbridge Business Centre builds on momentum with client confidence

Having been open for only a few months, the centre has hit the ground running and has its sights set on improving further

The Newbridge Business Centre management team: Susan Keogh, Martin Cooper and Sinead Smyth. Picture: Michael Donnelly.

There are a few signs highlighting how well Newbridge Business Centre (NBC) has been doing since it opened in May. The activity in the building, the number of companies who’ve signed up, and the overall enthusiasm felt throughout are just some.

And on the day when chatting with chief executive and founder Martin Cooper, another sign popped up with all the meeting rooms booked out, meaning the interview had to take place elsewhere – which Cooper saw as another sign that it’s on the right track.

“When we get feedback, especially from tech companies, they mention that, and we take great pride in our facilities,” he said. “The quality and standard we bring, we have great staff and IT providers. We’re dedicated to our customers to provide a great experience.”

NBC is based in the famed Charlotte House, originally built in 1840 and once the town’s main post office and the birthplace of the famed crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, the first woman elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1945.

Having opened in May this year, the centre already has 25 companies availing of its services, showing how quickly it hit the ground running.

Company details Newbridge Business Centre

Year founded: 2018, but opened in May 2023

Number of staff: 5

Turnover: NBC opened to the public only in the last few months.

Why it’s in the news: Having been open for just three months, Newbridge Business Centre already has over 25 different companies on the books, with plans to add more from September onwards

“We were shocked,” said Cooper about realising the number of companies using NBC. “People come in on different times and days, so it’s a mix. When we had them all written down on a list, we thought, ‘wow’.”

The past two months have brought updates and new features beyond having more customers and the usual physical and digital additions.

Among them was how the centre implemented an indoor air quality monitoring system, improving the working space and informing users about results each week.

Cooper points towards three elements that set it apart from similar co-working spaces: all companies get their own firewall and Wi-Fi accounts, and can avail of dedicated IP addresses in their suite.

All these small elements add up to something much more significant, and it resonates with all the companies using the centre for work.

“Our relationship with our clients has been excellent,” Cooper explained.

“The advantage is they have great confidence in the service and infrastructure. We get to know them, they get to know us, and we form a longer-term relationship, which is what we want. It’s a relationship that benefits both parties, not to the benefit of only one, and you get that through great service.”

Martin Cooper, chief executive and founder, Newbridge Business Centre. Picture: Michael Donnelly

The winds are blowing towards what Cooper describes as a third workspace solution. Spending all your days at the office or home may be challenging for workers, down to factors like long commute times or limited space in their homes.

“There’s a burnout with the battle of the box room,” he said. “The company moved into your home, they’re still there, and some people have children and need that room back, and there’s certainly an element of the unpaid hours worked because the company is in your home. That needs to change.”

It offers the middle ground where company employees can enjoy a best-in-class service within the local area.

“We knew there would be a need for a third place workspace,” he stated. “It has to be a place where a professional can walk in and they understand it straight away. It’s really important it works seamlessly because the type of people we’re trying to attract here would have high expectations.”

While the centre focuses on providing a workspace, its influence and usage are expanding beyond that. For one, the Newbridge community has already availed of its services in several ways.

For one, it recently had a small exhibition dedicated to the famed crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, who was born in Charlotte House, displaying her life’s work. Other uses include a podcasting course, which recently began on Tuesday nights, highlighting how the centre is more than just a 9-5 operation.

Now that September has arrived, the centre is expecting more inquiries as more companies become familiar with its services due to its hard work and meticulous preparation.

“It took us months to get everything right,” Cooper said. “We want to be everything, but you can’t be everything for everyone. We hate saying no, but we try our hardest to find a solution or something workable. If we can’t, we have a damn good reason for it and explain why.”