Finding the perfect location for your business

Donna Surtees

Donna Surtees, senior space adviser

Finding the right work space is crucial to any business and it’s my job here at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) to ensure they all find the perfect space that suits their needs.

The BIC has been providing serviced office space since 1994 and is the only organisation of its kind in the North East. Located on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland with easy access from the A19 and A1 as well as frequent buses to the Enterprise Park.

The bustling community has evolved over time and we continue to welcome new and established businesses who bring with them a variety of skills. With an occupancy rate of 92% the BIC remains a popular place to do business.

Searching for suitable premises can seem like an overwhelming task. Knowing what your business needs and asking the right questions in the very beginning will enable you to find the ideal, cost effective space for your business.

Before you begin your journey, there are so many factors to consider. These can determine what makes your workplace a success so choose wisely before signing any contracts.

Location is one of the most critical factors to take into account. Think about who will be visiting your offices. How easy is it for clients to get to you? Is there enough parking for them? Also consider the location for your employees. Losing employees because they don’t like the location can devastate your business.

Avoid signing up for more space than you need. Accommodating dead space can incur unnecessary costs and for a start-up or entrepreneur this is the last thing you need. Whilst it may be difficult to anticipate how much space you will need, especially if the business is new, if you can agree a flexible tenancy agreement then you can always downsize or indeed take on extra space at a later date. I often see businesses tied into long contracts and when times are tough it can have a devastating impact.

Here at the BIC we have over 20 years hands on experience in supporting companies through the planned and unforeseen situations that happen in business and have seen many move around the site as their circumstances change. Whether its downsizing or taking on extra space as the company grows, we do our upmost to accommodate.

Sharing accommodation is becoming increasingly popular here with businesses making use of our fabulous Open Space. It’s ideal for businesses who need an impressive place to work and meet clients but don’t require their own office.

We have also seen many businesses collaborate together just from working alongside each other in Open Space. It’s fantastic to see the opportunities our space creates and with over 700 free parking bays, access to meeting rooms and free coffee, we can see why it’s so popular.

If you decide you do want your own office then consider serviced office space. At first glance they can look more costly, however if it means you don’t need to arrange your own telecoms, connectivity and maintenance then it can actually be more cost effective and less hassle.

Security should be another priority. It is important to keep your staff and property safe and with 24 hour security at the BIC and along the business park we ensure just that.

We continue to offer mentoring support to our clients and encourage partnerships between the companies based at the BIC.

If you are interested in finding your dream office this year then why not get in touch.

For more information please contact me on 0191 516 6066 or email

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