The Wembley arm of the serviced office provider, Business Environment, secured a ‘hat trick’ for the company at the annual awards of the Business Centre Association (BCA).
The North London centre won the title of ‘Business Centre of the Year’, repeating its success in this category in 2008. In between, Business Environment’s WestPoint (Bristol) Centre took the coveted title in 2009.
In the Managed Workspace sector, honours went to the Basepoint Ipswich, which matched the success of the company’s Southampton operation last year. Ultrasoft was announced ‘Trade Supplier of the Year’, repeating its success in the 2007 competition, while the new award of ‘Broker Representative of the Year’ went to Dan Szweda of Instant.
The sell-out event took place at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, on 19 November. The number of nominations entered has increased almost tenfold since the first BCA awards were held in 2000.
Finalists were drawn from nominations entered by clients who considered the personalised attention to detail, and the constant high level of service delivered in the various categories went beyond their expectations. It has become the policy of the 850 BCA members that the service provided to their myriad occupiers – who range from FTSE-quoted giants to one-person consultancies - is strategically targeted, and of such high quality, that it actually adds value to clients’ own ability to do business. Having their serviced office or managed workspace requirements comprehensively managed by a BCA member enables clients to concentrate wholly on what they do best, which is their core business.
After accepting the business centre of the year award from Julie Grieve, chair of the BCA, Sam Samaraweera, said: “I am absolutely thrilled, and very honoured, to have received this honour – not just for myself but for all my staff at Wembley because this success has been entirely a team effort.”
A former police officer, who has worked for Business Environment for five years, Mr Samaraweera, said that while winning the award was an achievement in its own right, it was particularly significant in the case of his team because at 190,000 sq ft, the Wembley centre was one of the largest “and one of the most physically complex” flexible serviced space buildings in the UK.
David Saul, a director of Business Environment, with 14 centres in Southern England, said that helping to make the BCA awards so important was the fact that “you learn so much from what your clients say because our motto is ‘are we doing things right and if not, how can we improve?’
“We are a growing industry and cannot afford to make mistakes. What worries me is that as times get harder there may be cut backs in the provision of some office services. However, this is not an option for the serviced office sector because the provision of efficient and professional services is what our clients buy into.”
Mr Saul said that Business Environment treated the awards “very seriously” and urged other companies to enter. He added: “Although it is always fantastic to win we are not in this just for prestige. Winning confirms that our centre service levels are of the highest order. Last year 92 per cent of our clients submitted nomination forms.”
For Michelle Wootton, centre manager at Basepoint’s Ipswich centre, it was a case of first time lucky as she only joined the company at the end of 2008 just prior to its opening in January 2009. Saying she was “absolutely thrilled” by the success, Michelle added: “It is, of course, not just a tribute to me but to my staff without whom this honour would not have been possib