Who Says You Shouldn't Mix Business with Pleasure?
Think Cotswolds, and you probably won't picture a business park. Rather, you're more likely to envisage rolling hills, honey-coloured stone cottages and postcard-perfect villages.
But that's exactly what makes this corner of England such a great place to run a business.
Work/life balance is the new currency in business management, and not every CEO wants a soaring city centre skyscraper with astronomical parking charges. Some business owners choose to work where they also choose to live.
That's why UBC focuses on out-of-town locations in well-connected business parks. And in one of these places - which happens to be within an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - you'll find one of UBC's most popular business centres.
UBC's Cirencester business centre is based on the outskirts of the large Gloucestershire town. Often referred to as the Capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester has a pretty market square, centuries-old buildings, and was even mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. In short, it has all the hallmarks of a classic Cotswold town.
Once the second largest town in Britain during Roman times, today Cirencester is more of a magnet for shoppers and tourists. This, plus its connectivity and proximity to the southwest triangle of Gloucester, Bristol and Swindon, has made it a sought-after location for businesses.
Add to that, Cirencester is bang in the middle of the so-called 'Silicon Gorge', so named due to the growing band of high-tech companies based within the geographic triangle of Bristol, Swindon and Gloucester.
Business centre expansion
In November 2014, following constant high demand, UBC announced that it had committed to Cirencester for a further 20 years by extending its lease, and also expanding its rentable office space capacity.
"We've been in Cirencester now 6 years; Cirencester Office Park is a great location for us with a thriving SME Community," said Richard Johnson, Property & Acquisitions Director at UBC. "We jumped at the opportunity to extend our commitment and expand our operation by taking a new lease on the whole building."
As a result, UBC added a further 5,100 sq ft to its existing space. Based on the top floor, this large open-plan area is a perfect choice for larger companies looking for a fully self-contained office, with space for up to 60 people. Throughout the rest of the business centre there is a variety of serviced office space ranging in size from single suites right up to larger offices for 12 or 14 people, complete with their own meeting space.
As with other UBC business centres, UBC Cirencester has a Venture Coworking office which can house up to six independent workers on a shared office basis. It includes private desk facilities, lockable storage, call answering services and even use of the building's mailing address - perfect for entrepreneurs who want to protect their home address.
Thanks to its range of workspace options, UBC Cirencester has become a popular business hub for companies of all sizes. In addition to monthly networking events organised by UBC, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) moved in last year, which further helps to facilitate the centre's community spirit and entrepreneurial focus.
Indeed, client Fiona Cole says that the centre provides "facilities to suit all needs" and commends its adaptable and professional setting. "The centre staff are friendly, reliable, and the best part of these offices" she added.
Business hub it might be - but there's no denying the centre's attractive Cotswolds location, which is always a significant draw.
"I always tell people we are 'just down the road from Prince Charles' house', and that Cirencester used to be the second largest town in Roman times," says Daniel Rollinson, Customer Service Manager at UBC Cirencester.
"We are very close to the Roman amphitheatre and within a stone's throw of the famous Royal Agricultural college. We're also just across the road from the Bathurst Estate and Cirencester Park, which is a great place for walking in spring and summer. It also holds major events like the Cotswold Show."
Like many clients at UBC Cirencester, Daniel is a lunchtime regular at the town centre - a 15-20 minute walk away - where there is an "abundance of coffee shops and places to eat". He particularly recommends the award-winning cafe, Artisan Coffee.
With the line between work and life becoming increasingly blurred, it's no surprise that setting up shop in an attractive location like Cirencester isn't just a business decision, but a lifestyle choice too.