Cicada’s new home, a former chapel in Harrogate that was converted into state-of-the-art serviced offices is 90% let – just 12 months after completion.

Entrepreneur Robert Fearnley spent £1.5m developing 55 Grove Road after spotting a gap in the market for high-end, contemporary office space in the spa town.

The site has filled up fast with just two of the 20 suites now remaining and Robert expects the building to be fully occupied within weeks.

The property, located in a popular part of town between Kings Road and Skipton Road, is split across two floors, totalling 9,600 sq ft, including a boardroom, shower room and Scandi-style café breakout area.

55 Grove Road has proved a hit with established SME businesses from a range of industry sectors. Tenants include Cicada Communications, Boardside Employment Law, NY Design, R&W Lettings and Studio 4. The building’s first tenant, accountancy firm Hattersley Clark, has already renewed its lease for a second year.

Robert said: “My vision was to create inspiring workspaces within a modern, attractive business hub that benefits from good transport links – without the costs associated with central Harrogate.

“I’m delighted that local companies like what we have created and realise they don’t have to move away from the town for high-quality office accommodation. The building already has the feel of a community, which we foster by holding regular social events to encourage companies to work together.”

Jane Clark, founder of Hattersley Clark Chartered Accountants, said: “This is the perfect environment for our business. The office space is bright and airy while the shared facilities are perfect for meetings and catching up with other companies. We didn’t think twice about renewing our lease.”

Robert has several commercial and residential property developments on the go in Harrogate and wider region. They include the conversion of the former Bed restaurant on Kings Road into an innovative, high-end living space featuring 12 en-suite rooms with shared kitchen and living area.

He added: “It won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that the retail sector is struggling – so much shopping has become virtual – but elsewhere there are great opportunities for developers that understand the needs of would-be commercial and residential occupiers and provide them with accommodation that is best in class.

“Many developers are changing the use of office and retail buildings to residential and that’s a movement that I expect to continue so I’m delighted that we have been able to buck the trend with 55 Grove Road.”

55 Grove Road is being marketed by FSS.

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