Old offices limit growth

It has been brought to our attention that a resolution was passed by Berwick Town Council at a meeting on February 22 concerning our firm, and we would like to clarify our position regarding the potential relocation of our business.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 8:00 am

Greaves West & Ayre, Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisers, is the largest professional services firm in the area, and has been located in the centre of Berwick since it was established in 1919.

The firm has grown steadily over the years, and we currently occupy six separate offices within the town.

More significant growth in recent years has led to the number of people employed increasing to over 100, making us the largest employer in the town centre, and we are currently looking to recruit and train more members of staff. Most of these are full time, skilled, professional jobs.

This is excellent news for the town at a time when other jobs are being lost.

We serve clients from all over the UK, and beyond, and bring much needed income to the town where most of our staff live.

We also try, wherever possible, to use local suppliers, and we therefore bring significant net inward investment to the town.

We attract a significant number of clients and other professional visitors into the town centre throughout the year, and they, along with our own staff, spend money in the shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, further aiding the local economy.

We actively support numerous local charities and sports and community clubs financially, and many of our employees are on various committees and school boards, giving both their time and expertise.

We are constantly involved in training to prepare employees for professional exams and upgrading skills to help them deal with the ever changing demands our clients place upon us. Indeed, several other accountants in the town trained with us and then left to set up their own firms, which have also provided long-term employment.

In addition to the firm expanding, a number of leases on some of the properties that we currently occupy are coming to an end.

Some of our existing offices are very old and not designed for how a modern professional services firm works.

This lack of suitable office space is a constraint on our potential growth, and if we are to continue to expand, and we are planning to do so, then we need to be able to compete with other similar firms based in Edinburgh and Newcastle, and therefore in turn we need to provide an attractive and modern working environment to enable us to recruit and retain staff.

These factors have led to us reviewing our property needs, and in recent years we have investigated the possibility of relocating to a number of potential sites, both within and outwith the town centre, and also further afield.

Our preference has always been to be based in one building, and if possible, to remain in the centre of Berwick, close to the banks and other professional services firms with whom we work on a daily basis.

We also wish to remain close to the railway station, which both we and our clients use regularly. A town centre location will also mean that our staff and clients continue to support the local economy.

We are sure your readers will appreciate that our business negotiations are both commercially sensitive and confidential, and that we are unable to provide any details of these.

Partners in Greaves West & Ayre