After months of speculation around who the new tenants of St Helens House will be, Smith Cooper Midlands Accountants and Business Advisors have officially announced their move to the incredible town house planned for April 2013.
St Helen’s House situated in King Street, Derby is a grade I listed building and is considered the finest surviving Georgian town house outside of London. The house occupies a site of 1.28 acres and work is currently being undertaken by Richard Blunt, two times winner of the “Best Restoration of a Georgian Building in the UK” award.
Smith Cooper are one of the Midlands most progressive firm of accountants and business advisors and currently have 8 offices around the Midlands. The firm has seen expansion over the past year with the Nottingham office relocating to a city centre location and various new recruits for all service lines.
David Nelson, Partner of Smith Cooper commented: “We had a number of options available to us within Derby, but St Helens immediately won us over. St Helen’s House has plenty of history and so do we, I think the building embodies a lot of what we are about.”
David added: “The building is incredible and has so much history attached to it. We’ve been working with Richard Blunt to ensure the renovation is traditional and in keeping with the beauty of St Helens and the Georgian style. We are in a traditional sector but are innovative within the field, and we wanted to reflect this with our choice of building.”
Discussions with St Helen’s House owner and restoration expert Richard Blunt began because Mr Blunt has been a client of Smith Cooper for 20 years.
Mr Blunt had planned to turn the building into a boutique hotel. However, he struggled to find an occupier, leaving his massive restoration project in jeopardy. So, he began looking at other uses and for different occupiers.
He said: “I couldn’t have borrowed the money from the bank without the guarantee of a tenant who would be paying for the next 10 to 20 years.
“The lease with Smith Cooper has allowed this restoration to go ahead.”
David added: “As a firm, we’ve experienced high growth over the past years and it was definitely time to move to a new office.
“Derby is traditionally known for manufacturing and excellence and we wanted to show our commitment to Derby and the various developments underway in the city at the moment. St Helens satisfies both our current needs and our future ambitions as a firm – we are extremely proud to have our headquarters here.”
The new office will host over 80 employees and has a range of conference and meeting facilities. The upper floors have been turned into office space, with the numerous windows and high ceilings letting in light.
The impressive ground floor and grand staircase will provide the centerpiece for meeting rooms.
The firm is also working out details to allow Mr Blunt to show people around the building to share its history.