Fresh city centre offices for Freshwater

L-R: Simon John, head of creative, Angharad Neagle, chief executive and Elinor Dafydd, director of strategy and innovation in the communal area in Hodge House. (C) Huw John, Cardiff.

Freshwater, the UK-wide communications consultancy, is relocating its head office to prime office space at the newly refurbished Hodge House in the heart of Cardiff.

The integrated communications agency is moving from its current location at Cardiff Gate Business Park, where it has been based for the past 17 years, to take a 10-year lease at the Grade II listed building, situated just off Westgate Street. The 3,100 sq ft offices overlook the Principality Stadium and are just a short walk from BBC Wales, Media Wales and Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture.

All of the agency’s 40 Cardiff-based staff will be relocating to the new city centre premises, where they will mix office-based and remote working, as part of a new flexible approach to operating post-pandemic.

Angharad Neagle, chief executive of Freshwater, said: “Our new home, at Hodge House, marks an exciting chapter for us as we celebrate 25 years in business.

“As a company that thrives on strong relationships, we wanted to be based in the city centre to maximise opportunities to meet with clients, partners and suppliers, while creating a collaborative and creative hub for our team.

“Our new space will provide an inspirational destination in which our clients can work alongside us, discussing strategy and co-creating campaigns, as well as taking part in onsite media training, workshops and focus groups.”

Built in 1915 on the site of Cardiff’s original town hall, Hodge House is a six-floor building that has recently undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment. Tenants have access to a communal coffee lounge; secure cycle spaces; a studio for fitness classes; shower rooms; a get-ready room and drying lockers.

Elinor Dafydd, director of strategy and innovation, added: “After the last few years, employees are looking for more from their workplaces. A space where they can focus and concentrate, but also where they can collaborate and socialise, and feel supported and inspired. Our new office offers that and more.

“At the same time, we want to retain the flexibility we’ve all benefited from since the pandemic, so colleagues can build the time they spend in the office around client and business needs as well as their own.”

Freshwater was established in 1997. From its roots in traditional public relations, the consultancy now offers multi-channel integrated services, including marketing, digital, creative, events, advertising, video production, stakeholder engagement and crisis management, delivered by teams in Cardiff and London and a network of consultants UK wide. It also has a conference business, trading as Waterfront Conference Company, which organises specialist events aimed at the transport, energy, planning and infrastructure sectors.

Freshwater’s client base spans both the public and private sector and includes Welsh Government, Specsavers, Unite the Union, Associated British Ports, British Telecom, several NHS trusts and Thompsons Solicitors.

The joint letting agents for Hodge House are Fletcher Morgan and Knight Frank.