10 years in business

Sunday, January 4, 2015

West Lancashire Investment Centre (WLIC) is going from strength to strength as it celebrates 10 years of helping firms do business.

The Centre, by Junction 4 of the M58 in Skelmersdale, which provides prestigious office accommodation, conference and meeting room facilities as well as an on-site café, was recently a finalist in the Conference / Meeting Venue category of the Lancashire Tourism Awards.

All 43 office suites are now occupied, the last incubator unit having been let to new tenants in October.

The Centre has also recently been awarded AIM (Accredited in Meetings) from the Meetings Industry Association, which serves to provide a kitemark of quality assurance.

Councillor David Westley, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “I am delighted the Investment Centre is full once again, proving what great facilities it has and the great service that is provided by Council staff who work there.  This has been recognised by regional and national organisations and we are all very proud of the plaudits received.”

The West Lancashire Investment Centre was created to help tackle the shortage of quality conference facilities and assist businesses to grow in Skelmersdale.  Staff welcomed the first tenants in January 2005 since when it has become a popular business destination, spearheading the development of Whitemoss Business Park and serving as an important local resource.  The café, which is open to the public, is used extensively by staff from companies in the surrounding buildings.

One of the Centre’s key functions has been to provide business incubation space to stimulate and drive the growth of early stage business and new business start-ups within a supportive nurturing environment.  The development has created employment opportunities for the local community, thereby contributing towards the economic sustainability of the area.  It is renowned for quality of service and benefits from proximity to major regional conurbations while itself enjoying an uncongested, attractive rural setting.

Hatchard Medical Ltd, which specialises in the supply and maintenance of dental and medical equipment, has been at WLIC since shortly after it opened.

Managing director Kevin Hatchard said: “We moved here because the Centre suited our requirements ideally, providing both a workbase and showroom so that we could display our equipment to potential clients.  The presence, modern design and up to date security features project an ideal first impression to our customers.

“The Investment Centre has been able to adapt to our needs and staff are always willing to assist in whatever way they can.  We have held evening events in the Centre’s conference suites using the catering services and these have been a great success.”

The Specsavers professional recruitment team moved into the Centre in autumn 2014.

Chris Howarth, Specsavers' director of professional recruitment, said: “Our move to the new offices has been hugely successful for us.The location of the offices is perfect for visitors from all around the country to access easily, which is very important to us. In addition, our office based staff have been delighted by the benefits that they have enjoyed in terms of the catering facilities, the easy parking and the reception support. Overall, its been a tremendous move for us.”

Office suites at the Centre may currently all be leased but a waiting list has been opened for those interested in future occupation.  For those businesses not presently needing physical space a number of virtual office solutions are also offered, affording the professional edge of a respected postal address, mail handling and telephone answering service.

Bookings for the adaptable conference and meeting room facilities which range from small syndicate rooms to exhibition suites are still being taken.

To join the waiting list, find out more about virtual office solutions or the competitive conferencing packages on offer please use the contact form or call 01695 712600.