Bulletin of Industry
With the purchase of the Falkirk Business Hub, Tartan Commercial, the company behind North Berwick’s The Lighthouse business center, has grown its portfolio.
Tartan Commercial will take on all the employees of the hub and improve its role as one of Scotland’s biggest independent business centers and versatile workspace companies with the purchase of £ 1,925 million from Bellair Scotland.
On the outskirts of the capital, founder and managing director Andy Hadden, who is also behind the £ 40 million construction of Scotland’s first man-made surf park, Wavegarden Scotland, acknowledged several years ago the potential for flexible rural and commuter jobs.
Hadden built “The Lighthouse” business hub, where shops have now been set up by more than 35 businesses from a wide variety of industries.
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More than 35 tenant firms and 150 individuals, ranging from corporates to solopreneurs, are also home to the Falkirk Business Center. In 2013, the former Falkirk General Post Office building was fully modernized, and the four-story landmark provides a range of coworking and virtual office spaces, conference rooms and cost-effective offices, as well as a café and fitness and wellness center on site.
In early 2020, Managing Director Nick Watson joined Tartan Commercial to help drive the growth of the business.
The co-owner of the company has over 20 years of thorough knowledge of the real estate business. Mr. Watson, a former Rettie & Co director who still maintains strong ties to the company in an advisory role, led the acquisition of Falkirk and is in the process of acquiring additional sites and possibilities in Scotland.
We are pleased to complete this purchase, which is right in the heart of Falkirk, Mr. Watson said. The trend towards workplace mobility did not start with the pandemic, but it definitely has intensified. We expect that a combination of flexible practices will be seen in the future, like working from home, hubs such as North Berwick and Falkirk, and larger city centers.
We’ve seen a sharp rise in inquiries since September this year compared to the start of the year, which clearly shows the changes in the world of work. The tenant mix we see includes corporate customers, as well as small local companies, searching for space for a regional center.
“Our mission is to transform towns and create self-sufficient micro-economies outside of major cities,” Mr. Hadden added. Our work in North Berwick has underscored this approach and its effect, and Bellair has done great work in Falkirk, hence our appetite for acquisition. This method ensures that more patient capital is invested with the goal of owning all the land and houses, but then constructing and maintaining them like you would a hotel. The mechanics may be real estate for us, but it’s 100% hospitality, where a key indicator of a viable, lucrative company is the goodwill of tenants who can ultimately move out in the short term.
We have had some enticing offers to expand rapidly with a leasing model across multiple locations, but our goal is to leave a legacy everywhere we go, and to do so, we look at our business planning in 5- to 10-year periods, rather than a 1- to 2-year view.
The debt portion of the transaction was worked out by Prydis Consulting and it was instrumental in brokering the agreement.
“Despite the current climate, we were able to assist Tartan Commercial Ltd with the funding to acquire the Falkirk Business Hub at a very difficult time,” said Director Nick Cross. We were able to obtain the necessary financing at a very competitive rate as an independent broker with access to a wide variety of lenders, allowing them to proceed with their exciting growth plans. In the future, we look forward to working with Tartan Commercial.’
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