Bristol and Wales just moved a little closer
One of the things clients love about Bristol agency SBW Advertising is its commitment to going the extra mile for Bristol City College, North Bristol NHS Trust, Thermae Bath Spa and all its other private and public sector clients.
By the time the agency celebrated its tenth birthday in 2014 it became clear they needed to go that extra mile (or 40) quite literally. Finding themselves increasingly involved with exciting projects generated in Cardiff - colleges recreating themselves for the 21st century, exciting Welsh government strategy launches like Education Begins At Home and the loving restoration of Cardiff’s beautiful Victorian arcades - it became obvious they needed a base in Wales to take care of their new clients properly. And to grow.
With a reputation built on inspired creativity and a ‘big picture’ approach, SBW wasn’t going to fit comfortably into standardised, anonymous office space. As Client Services Director Leticia Korin-Moore says emphatically ‘we wanted somewhere with character; so much office space feels transitional…’
An agent was briefed and the search began. The SBW team looked at space from the Bay to the Bridge and back again. They were after somewhere that stood out, and space run by people whose approach was as ‘can do’ as their own.
They found both in Cathedral Road, a fabulously central location just round the corner from Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium, easily accessible from the M4 and the First Great Western line from Paddington via Bristol. The city’s lively Pontcanna district with its cafes and bars is on the doorstep.
Cathedral Road has all the character Leticia had been looking for. During the 1870s the 3rd Marquis of Bute employed William Burges - the architect he had worked with on Cardiff Castle and the fairytale Castell Coch - to help develop his riverside land into an elegant road full of grand houses built to high standards. The investment paid off, and the road is as impressive today as it was at the end of the 19th century.
But while the building ticked all the right boxes for SBW in the end it was Office Space in Town’s Cathedral Road manager, Tracy, who was the deciding factor.
‘Oh yes, Tracy was key to our decision to move in,’ laughs Leticia. ‘She simply always says ‘yes’!’
No-one disputed that Cathedral Road’s grandeur had faded slightly, and needed updating ‘…but we were free to brand our own space, change the furnishings, express preferences about the carpets…’ SBW appreciated being listened to and seeing their suggestions swiftly carried out. And when internet teething problems threatened to make life difficult Tracy and the team were immediately responsive. ‘We simply always know she’s on side,’ says Leticia.
SBW are now thoroughly at home in South Wales. Across the road there are more Office Space in Town buildings at Temple Court and regular barbecues and social gatherings offer plenty of networking opportunities.
‘We love the central location, the flexibility and Tracy’s positivity! This move has been crucial to our development as a business and having room to grow in Cathedral Road means we can put down proper roots in Wales. ’
There might be 40 miles between SBW in Bristol and Cardiff but in terms of attitude and spirit, there’s really no distance at all.