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Regus facility brings new office space and rooftop terrace to picture-postcard town
The proud Mayor of Henley-on-Thames describes his town as “the jewel in the crown” of South Oxfordshire, and it’s easy to see why. The picturesque location is notable for its world-class rowing heritage as well as famous residents such as comic Russell Brand, movie star Orlando Bloom and screenwriter Richard Curtis.
But Hollywood A-listers aside, it’s another resident that’s made a big impression on the local community. Earlier this year, Regus opened its first centre in the town, a 17,787-square-foot, three-storey facility complete with hot desks, meeting rooms and offices, co-working spaces, virtual offices and break-out rooms. Just a stone’s throw from the local train station and some top-class eateries, the centre even boasts a rooftop terrace where tenants can relax and chat to fellow professionals as they enjoy the stunning river view.
Town Mayor Ken Arlett says it’s no surprise that Regus chose his town for the new site, citing major attractions such as the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta, lots of festivals throughout the year and a range of great restaurants sure to prove popular for those business brunches. “Henley is a wonderful place to live, work and play in,” he says. “There’s the grand buildings of Phyllis Court and Leander Club, where both deliver excellent food. “There’s also a number of successful sports clubs in rugby, cricket, hockey and football, as well as the award-winning River & Rowing Museum at Mill Meadows.
With so much on offer, it’s no surprise that the town has started to attract more people looking to make a home for themselves in this picture-postcard setting. More residents mean more jobs, and the need for more office space too, says the Mayor: “With office space now turning into flats in the town centre, there was a need for office space on the periphery of the town and Regus has filled that gap, with excellent facilities and community events for small and medium-sized expanding businesses.”
The new office space has come just at the right time, too, according to the Mayor, with the area on the cusp of an exciting new period of growth. “Over the next 10 years, another 900 new houses and flats will be built within the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan,” he says. “These properties will house the next generation of entrepreneurs, and these residents will be looking for first-class office space that Regus provide. The Henley success factor with small to medium-sized companies over the past four decades will continue to thrive with a company such as Regus supporting them.”
The decision by Regus to invest in Henley-on-Thames is one of a number of achievements for the local council as it tries to equip the town for the future economy. Flexible working is viewed as one of the most disruptive workplace trends in the business world right now. Regus’s own research shows that 53% of professionals globally now work remotely for at least half their working week, and 30% of corporate real-estate portfolios could be flexible workspace by 2030.
“Henley is very successful in many ways,” says Arlett. “But it faces the same challenges as other reasonable-sized towns, in respect of the viability of the high street, traffic issues and housing, for all who want to live and work here. Henley has a forward-looking council that wishes to strengthen the local economy and improve the environment – we also have the Henley Business Partnership that meets every three weeks.”
Regus Chief Executive Richard Morris has also welcomed the move to the new location. “We are delighted to be opening our first Regus site in Henley, bringing the workspace revolution to this beautiful town,” he says. “People are recognising that they are far more productive and successful in a dynamic working environment, while businesses are waking up to the financial and strategic benefits. Regus is helping to supply this demand and drive a workspace revolution in Britain.”
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