Dealer Uplands is on the up as it continues with its successful expansion programme.
The business, which has been trading for more than 33 years, has grown during the past 12 months largely through acquisition and now has more than 100,000 customers. The O2 Centre of Excellence partner has also generated £10m of business for the operator over the past year, which has just scooped the coveted ‘Best Dealer’ award at the Mobile Industry Awards 2012.
Paul Hooper’s company has taken on new business premises in Weston-super-Mare within the £35m Dolphin Square project, headed up by McLaren Life. The new location has put Uplands at the heart of a development that boasts one of the South West’s largest Premier Inns, while the opening of a new Vue Cinema will not only act as the gateway to the complex but should bring together a mixture of retail and business developments.
Uplands MD Hooper (pictured) said: ‘In 2011, we spent months talking to local businesses – our potential customers – about what they needed on a day to day basis and what they think will help their business to grow and succeed.
'As a result of the feedback, in addition to our business as usual joined up communications approach, we’re also developing our own slant on the whole co-working, desk space, coffee, meeting rooms, managed services, collaboration thing.
‘Our new Somerset office is ideally situated just off junction 21 of the M5, which kind of sits perfectly central to our territory of Wales and the West Country. This will help to bring new businesses together from a wide range of backgrounds as well as really inspiring individuals who want to turn their passion into their livelihood.
‘We aim to work with them to succeed, in this the “year of enterprise”, by taking the leap to start up a business or grow their existing one, develop their ideas, write their business plan, work collaboratively and control and manage their cost.’
Hooper said the facility can house up to 50 individuals looking to work in a joined up way, which will include a number of working pods for six, four and two-desk space businesses, as well as a training and conference facility for up to 20 delegates.
Hooper added: ‘It is our intention to utilise some of the office for our own unified expansion. We intend on operating two new outsource business groups – one that will focus on mobile and fixed-line opportunities and another that will focus on expanded unified opportunities – and we are already in advanced talks with both IT and utility specialists to further expand our business offerings.
‘We also want to further develop and bring in businesses from our collaboration centre, and again we have had some extremely positive interest from new start-up businesses who wish to work with us in a collaborative manner with vitally controlled and managed costs, which is so important in the current economic environment.
‘As well as the obvious development of the Somerset office, we’re also looking to expand our in-life team in Swansea as we see our customer base numbers grow.’
Hooper is enthusiastic about the dealer’s work with the Weston Town Centre Partnership BID team as its chosen partner for joined up communications in mobile, fixed-line, ICT and utilities. According to Hooper, the BID partnership has been working for more than a decade and has already established successful business links, including a number of working initiatives as far-reaching as business crime reduction through to the introduction of local produce and farmer markets in town centre areas.
Meanwhile, the BID committee recently gained majority business support from local business owners, who will be providing investment to the tune of 1.5% of their rateable business value. Hooper said Uplands is committed to investing in the same way but is also keen to work alongside the BID team to produce an additional business benefit for these investors, where it will seek to return their investment in terms of savings from joined up business solutions, including mobile and fixed telephony as well as utility services.
Editor: Shujaul Azam