Great North Business Centre
Great North Business Centre
The concept was born through the tedious task of looking for a suitable office space in Hatfield to enable founder Richard to bring together his small team of property part-timers. “How hard could that be?” Exteremly hard, as it proved at the time. Location, facilities, parking, pricing, access, long-term commitment … it was a nightmare. The search dragged on, but it did slowly demonstrate what a difficult task it could be for any start up or micro business.
Eventually Richard stumbled upon a charming Grade II listed building that was North Place. It was way too big for his immediate needs, with at least 25 rooms too many, but it doesn’t hurt to dream big and plan ahead! This difficult search also highlighted an opportunity: his thinking was:
“Let’s make it so much easier for others to find their new business home faster, easier, cost-effectively, low risk and pain free. Let’s make it simple to simply clear all those papers and laptop off your dining table or that bedroom desk and into your backpack, then just walk in, get a key, open your bag for business and never worry about long leases, commercial utility contracts, etc. We’ll do all that for you, so you can focus on your fledgeling business!”.
“All” that was left to do was refurbish the place, fit it out, recruit great staff, provide all the services and facilities for other businesses in the same position, and then support them every step of the way. The aim was always to make it easier for them than we had it for our own businesses. GNBC opened for business in February 2015 and the rest, as they say, is history!
Richard – Director
Richard’s career as an automation engineer took him all across his native Australia, then around the world, working for some years in Germany, before joining and eventually heading the British Postal Consultancy Service. Working in global companies could be exciting and varied, but he couldn’t imagine battling for another 20-30 years to survive waves of reorgs, redundancies and difficult bosses. Richard used his skills in tech and numbers to start and build a property portfolio, which happened to be centred on Hatfield. He started two businesses while working from home, then could finally leave the day-job in the corporate world. Although he doesn’t run marathons anymore, Richard tries to stay moderately fit, with walks, exercise bike, occasional park runs, and maybe (one day) back to the gym. Sudoku, classical music and some Aussie wine can usually take his mind off broken boilers and wonky wi-fi.
Caroline – Centre Manager & Co-Director
Caroline began working for Richard on a part time basis helping with the growing portfolio. Her background is property and she worked for a building and development company for many years, until she embarked on her new career as a Mum.
The decision to work part time led her to apply for a position assisting Richard with his property business, that was in 2005. Caroline works four days a week and spends her free time with her four children.
Diane – Operations Manager
Diane joined the team in 2019. Diane assists with the day to day running of the business and health and safety is her speciality. Diane previously worked for The Law Society in charge of her own department and left to raise her family. Diane is a dedicated Rugby mum and can often be found on the sidelines, freezing cold, supporting her grown up sons.
Juliette – Reception
Juliette has been at GNBC since 2018 and she is the smily face who greets you on Reception. Juliette is always enthuastic and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. She likes everything in order and she is always making sure things are just so!
Evie – Reception
Evie joined GNBC in 2019 as a part time Receptionist. She has nearly completed a Business course at college and she will be heading off to Uni in the near future to study Marketing. Evie is always happy and smiling and loves helping our visitors and clients.
Dawne – Reception
Dawne is the most recent addition to the GNBC team. She is always finding ways to improve things and keeps very busy. When Dawne is not at GNBC she can be found helping out with her daughters horses.