Consultants forced to think outside the box in bid to beat office shortage

Infinity Group, which is now one of Kent’s largest IT and telecoms support providers,was set up by partners Rob Young and Phil Jones in 2001, moved to Camden Road in the town centre nearly ten years ago.

“We were in rural Ticehurst, so we needed to move somewhere where we could find people to employ,” recalled CEO Rob Young who has come out in support of the We Believe campaign by the Times.

“When we were in Ticehurst, we advertised for new staff and received zero applications,” added partner Phil Jones.“This was during a time when there were four million unemployed. When we came to Tunbridge Wells, and we started recruiting here we had to halt applications in just two days after we received more than 100.”

He said with lots of talent on tap, Tunbridge Wells also offered a better work life balance for the existing staff at the group than if the firm moved to London, as they do not have to endure the London commute, but there are issues with the town.

“We like it here. It is a nice town with a nice vibe, and not having the commute is a big driver for people, but there is just not enough office space,” said Mr Jones.

He said the IT firm, which now employs around 50 people, needs to recruit an additional 20 to 30 staff to meet the requirements of their company’s growth but the existing premises is not large enough.

He continued: “We are growing 20 percent year on year. The technology world just isn’t standing still, it is constantly evolving so we have to grow with it.

“We have looked for additional office space but there simply isn’t any, and what there is in Tunbridge Wells, costs around £25-£30 a square foot.”

Thankfully, the business, which is an official partner with Microsoft and has an annual turnover of £7million, did have one asset that could answer their expansion needs.

“This property came with an additional patch of land where there is this old builder’s shed,” explained Mr Young. “So we applied for planning, got it, and in the next few weeks work will start on a new office building.”

The pair say they have invested £2million in the whole site and the new office building should be ready to move into by the end of summer.

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