Landmark Falkirk hub that is home to over 30 businesses bought for £2m

The company behind The Lighthouse business centre in North Berwick in East Lothian has expanded its portfolio by acquiring the Falkirk Business Hub in a seven-figure deal.

The acquisition from Bellair Scotland will see Tartan Commercial retain all the employees at the Falkirk hub as it carves out its position as one of Scotland’s largest independent business centre and flexible workspace companies.
The acquisition from Bellair Scotland will see Tartan Commercial retain all the employees at the Falkirk hub as it carves out its position as one of Scotland’s largest independent business centre and flexible workspace companies.

The near-£2 million acquisition from Bellair Scotland will see Tartan Commercial retain all the employees at the hub.

The location is home to some 35 tenant companies and 150 people. The former Falkirk general post office was modernised in 2013 and the four-storey landmark building provides a variety of co-working and virtual office space, meeting rooms and rentable offices together with a cafe and a fitness and wellness centre onsite.

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Tartan Commercial founding director Andy Hadden is also behind the £40m development of Scotland’s first artificial surf park, Wavegarden Scotland, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Hadden developed The Lighthouse business centre, which now has more than 30 tenant companies, covering a diverse range of sectors.

Hadden said: “Our mission is to transform towns and create self-sufficient micro-economies outside major cities.

“This approach and impact have been highlighted with our work in North Berwick, and Bellair have done a wonderful job in Falkirk, hence our appetite to acquire.

“This strategy means we employ more patient capital, with a view to owning all sites and buildings freehold, but then developing and nurturing them as you would a hotel.”

Managing director Nick Watson joined Tartan Commercial at the beginning of 2020 to drive the company’s expansion.

A former director of Rettie & Co, who still retains close ties to that business through a consultancy role, Watson has driven the Falkirk deal and is in the process of acquiring further sites and opportunities across Scotland.

Watson said: “We are delighted to complete this acquisition, situated right in the heart of Falkirk. The trend towards workplace mobility wasn’t created as a result of the pandemic but it has certainly accelerated it.

“We believe that the future will see a combination of flexible practices which includes working from home, hubs such as North Berwick and Falkirk, as well as larger city headquarters.

“Since September this year, we have seen a sharp increase in enquiries compared to the beginning of the year, clearly reflecting the changes to work practices.

“The tenant mix we are seeing includes corporate occupiers looking for regional hub space as well as independent local businesses.”

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