Global marine technology specialist berths at Lakeside

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Paul Dollery, Transas’ global property director, right, with Russell Mogridge, the business space director at commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard.

A market leader in global maritime digital solutions has moved into a new regional office at a flourishing business park in Hampshire.

Transas, which employs almost 1,000 people around the world, signed a 10-year lease on 21,000 sq ft at new-to-market offices at Lakeside North Harbour, Portsmouth.

Employing 35 people locally, with on-site capacity to double headcount at Building 2000, the company plays a significant role in the safe passage of world trade, of which 90% is transported by sea.

Previously located at Voyager Park in the city for 18 years, Transas has nearly half of the world’s maritime simulation market, with 5,500 marine simulation systems in 91 countries, and a quarter of vessel traffic management solutions (VTMS) – 300 are installed in 100 ports in 55 countries.

Its marine onboard equipment is used on more than 13,000 vessels from more than 100 nations and the business also has a 35% global market share of electronic chart systems.

Hughes Ellard, the independent commercial property consultancy in the Solent region, acted for Northwood Regional UK, the landlord, in the deal. Quoting rent was £20 a sq ft.

Northwood Regional UK, which owns Lakeside North Harbour, invested £9.5m in refurbishing 100,000 sq ft of former IBM space at Building 2000 and Building 3000 into high-spec offices with room for up to 2,000 people.

Transas spent a further six-figure sum in a bespoke fit-out for customer support, sales, project management, finance, production, warehousing and the Transas Academy, the training and simulation centre.

State-of-the-art bridge simulators are being installed.

Russell Mogridge, the business space director at Hughes Ellard, said: “Transas is a market leader which required larger high-quality office, production and training space under one roof.

“Building 2000 at Lakeside, Hampshire’s fastest-growing business destination, fitted the bill exactly, being more than twice the size of Transas’ previous base in Portsmouth.

“To date, 35% of the new-to-market office space at Building 2000 and Building 3000 has already been filled, with Transas, Capita plc and Lead Forensics.”

Nick Turner, Asset Manager Director for Northwood Regional UK, said: “We’ve always been confident that the demand from discerning companies for quality head office space is there, which is why we invested in a £9.5m scheme to create Grade A accommodation.

“Transas is an inspirational example of a forward-thinking business which holds great store in providing a quality workplace environment for staff here at amenity-rich Lakeside.”

Paul Dollery, Transas’ global property director, said: “Our new regional headquarters reflects Transas’ aspirations to be the best company of its kind in the global maritime IT market, helping vessels navigate the word’s seas and waterways safely. We are grateful to Hughes Ellard for helping Transas find our new permanent berth at Portsmouth.”

In a separate development, Transas has also instructed Hughes Ellard to find an occupier for its previous headquarters, comprising a 10,000 sq ft warehouse and production unit at Voyager Park, Portsmouth.

Office suites from 2,525 sq ft, or floors from 36,682 sq ft, are available to lease at Building 2000 and Building 3000 following practical completion last summer.

Key features for the new offices include flexible office suites with air conditioning, a roof terrace with far-reaching views, excellent connectivity, generous floor-to-ceiling heights and recessed lighting, on-site dedicated facilities management team, managed conference and meeting room facilities, parking, 24/7 security and showers and lockers for cyclists.

Other parts of the 120-acre business park, including flagship Building 1000, are fully occupied, with 3,000 people working for 75 companies on site.

Facilities at the campus include cafes, a convenience store, hair and beauty salons, child day nursery, charging points for electric vehicles and greener energy from solar PV panels.

Occupiers at Lakeside include IBM, Babcock, Regus, Bouygues, Market Makers, Portsmouth Education Business Partnership, Hippo, Porsche, Verisona Law, The News, Handelsbanken, Douglas Stafford, Astute, Coffin Mew, Starbucks, Tops Day Nursery and Helistrat.

In a separate development on campus, work started last July on the construction of a 150-bedroom, four-star hotel under the Village Urban Resort brand, with a swimming pool and gym.

Hughes Ellard is joint marketing agent with Vail Williams for Lakeside.

Transas’ vision is to lead the way in creating an ecosystem of harmonised integrated solutions in safety, navigation and ship operations.  In creating these solutions Transas unites global maritime stakeholders in the future of e-Navigation and operations.