Welwyn Garden City business centre celebrates 30 years of helping companies thrive

PUBLISHED: 12:42 18 February 2019

A celebration was held to mark the 30th anniversary of Weltech Business Centre. 
Picture: Kevin Lines on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council

A celebration was held to mark the 30th anniversary of Weltech Business Centre. Picture: Kevin Lines on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council

Kevin Lines Photography

Welwyn Garden City firms gathered to mark the milestone anniversary of a thriving business centre, which acts as a springboard for those starting out.

Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon and leader of the council, Cllr Tony Kingsbury.
Picture: Kevin Lines on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield CouncilMayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Cllr Barbara Fitzsimon and leader of the council, Cllr Tony Kingsbury. Picture: Kevin Lines on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council

Weltech Business Centre, based in Ridgeway, is celebrating its 30th birthday.

It is now home to 49 different organisations employing around 170 staff.

The centre first opened in February 1989 to provide local businesses with flexible, resourced office space.

One of the first businesses to set up home at Weltech in 1991 was electrical solutions company Plowright Hinton.

A family-owned business, the day-to-day running is now in the hands of sisters Joanna Bennett and Julia Rollinson, following dad David’s retirement.

“When we arrived here there were only three other occupiers and our business really built up alongside the Weltech as other new people arrived.

“At the time, the centre offered full office and secretarial services and even a telex machine – exactly what a start-up company needed – although I don’t think many people would know what that is nowadays,” said David.

He added: “We now employ nearly 20 people and Weltech offers all the services for today’s market that we require.

“With my daughters now running the business, I like knowing they’re in a safe, supportive environment, especially if they’re ever working alone late – there’s always someone here they can call on.”

At the other end of the scale, First 4 Safety, an online health and safety training company, has just moved to Weltech after being a virtual customer for a couple of years.

“Being a virtual customer gave us a professional business address, which was really crucial when we were first starting out” said director John Pillinger.

“But we just loved the atmosphere here and wanted to be part of a community of businesses who, like us, are small and looking to grow.”

The council has managed the Weltech Business Centre since 2007 and a 30th anniversary plaque was unveiled by the mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, councillor Barbara Fitzsimon and leader of the council, councillor Tony Kingsbury.

Councillor Duncan Bell, executive member for resources, said: “It was fantastic to meet the many and varied businesses that call Weltech home.

“From speaking with people today, I’d certainly say the centre is 30 years young!

“We know businesses need more of this type of flexible space, which is why we’ve invested in Beaconsfield Court to hopefully replicate Weltech’s success in Hatfield.”

The Weltech Business Centre provides plenty for a young business first starting out, including broadband, reception and postal services and meeting rooms.

There is car parking and even a coffee lounge for relaxing away from the office.

For more information visit: www.weltech.org.uk or call 01707 336969.

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