For architect Lindsay Oram, FYCreatives from Blackpool Unlimited has been virtually the only base his business has ever used. Here, he explains why.
Lindsay Oram has been a chartered architect for more than two decades. For most of that time he was a partner in large practices in Manchester and Preston, but five years ago he made the decision to go solo.
“I just decided the time was right,” Lindsay explains. “I'd always wanted to work for myself and I just took the leap really. It’s been fantastic. I’m just incredibly busy all the time.”
The bulging in-tray is filled with a range of (usually) domestic projects including bespoke house builds, remodellings and extensions. “I enjoy the mix,” he says. “It’s great to combine working in existing buildings with creating something from scratch. I also do a lot of disability adaptations for private clients and local authorities. There's nothing more fulfilling than providing a service to people that really need your expertise.”
Within a month of launching his company, Lindsay had moved into an office at FYCreatives in the heart of Blackpool. He’s been there ever since.
A proper business hub
“It’s good to be in the town centre (especially for me as I’m only a ten-minute walk from home),” Lindsay says. “I've got my own small office, but I can also use the meeting room and breakout space. I can meet people downstairs in the reception area too. The rent’s very reasonable and it’s all maintained, so I don’t have to pay extra for things like heating or cleaning.
“I like being part of FYC. You come across so many different types of people and businesses – you’re always bumping into someone. You learn a lot about each other and that makes it easier to help each other out. You get to share ideas and opportunities – one of my connections at FYC is currently working on my new website - and there’s a great community feel which I just wouldn’t get if I was working from home.
“We often have networking lunches or go out after work for a bite to eat and a chat about life and business. It's a proper business hub.”
Tapping into advice
Years as a partner in his previous firm had given Lindsay a strong grasp of how to run a business, but he’s still grateful to have been able to tap into support and advice from Blackpool Unlimited. “That was particularly valuable during COVID. Being able to get advice about grants and assistance really helpful.”
A base for the long term
“I love being here,” says Lindsay, enthusiastically. “I've got no plans to leave. In fact, when I eventually retire, I can see myself doing it from this building. It's got everything I need. It’s just perfect for a small business.”
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To talk to Lindsay about your building project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org