New local office block under construction

Aisling Owens (left), chief executive of Lisburn Enterprise Organisation examining plans for the new office accommodation with Andrew Robinson, chairman, and Colleen McAreavey, senior business advisor.

Aisling Owens (left), chief executive of Lisburn Enterprise Organisation examining plans for the new office accommodation with Andrew Robinson, chairman, and Colleen McAreavey, senior business advisor.

Work is underway to develop additional high tech, purpose built, office accommodation at Lisburn Enterprise Organisation (LEO).

Even though the £1.8m scheme is not due to be completed until the end of the year, half of the 10,000 square foot space has been provisionally let.

Around 100 businesses already operate from LEO which is based in on the city’s Ballinderry Road, and provides employment for 500 people. With the demand for meeting rooms and conference facilities also on the increase, the 26 new offices, which range in size from 200-500 square feet, are due to be ready for occupation by December.

The organisation’s chief executive Aisling Owens said: “Small businesses represent the life blood of our economy, and are incredibly important in terms of providing employment.

“Our new phase of development will offer top specification offices, and provide an excellent base for new and existing businesses to grow with confidence.

“Equally significant, is that this demonstrates our continued commitment to the Lisburn area.”

LEO, a registered charity, was established in 1990 to promote an entrepreneurial culture, highlight self-employment and encourage the economic regeneration of the Lisburn area.

Ms Owens added: “We have gone to great lengths to understand what potential occupiers require and the accommodation has been designed accordingly.

“As with the rest of Northern Ireland, there is a severe deficit of Grade A office accommodation, and this new development should go some distance to meet the requirements of an increasing number of discerning businesses.”

LEO works closely with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, and has strong links with the education sector, as well as offering advice and practical support through various enterprise programmes.

The current property portfolio comprises of over 81,000 square feet, but the additional workspace will be ideal for start-ups, and for businesses looking to expand and develop without having to commit to a long term lease agreements, according to the organisation’s senior business advisor Colleen McAreavey.

Rental rates will be very competitive, she said.

She added: “Our vision has always focused on urban regeneration and enterprise development, and now with the introduction of our new phase, we have even more to offer our potential and existing client base.

“We understand the pressures of business and the fact that lease agreements can be restrictive. Therefore what we offer is slightly different. Our approach is a license agreement which means a 30 day easy in, easy out arrangement.”

Andrew Robinson, chief executive of Boomer Industries, the Lisburn-based plastic fabrication company, and who is chairman of the organisation’s board of directors, believes the development of the additional office space sends out a powerful signal to the business community in the area.

He said: “These are still challenging economic times, but the demand is definitely there for new office accommodation and our key objective remains the same – ensuring that local businesses are provided with the best possible opportunities to grow and prosper.”