Sunday, September 20, 2020

National Centre of Craft and Design project advances as employer plans to move in

The National Centre of Craft and Design project has taken another major step forward as MRI Software, a global leader in property software solutions, announced that it plans to move into its new Sleaford home in the NCCD in early October.

The NCCD, owned by North Kesteven District Council, is undergoing a £1.2 million refurbishment creating an enhanced modernised space for visitors and arts practitioners.

The scheme has also been designed to provide office space. This will be occupied by MRI which will move its office-based Sleaford staff from the company’s existing premises in Westgate.

All the current features of the NCCD will be retained by the addition of a 200 square metre ground extension.

MRI Software came to Sleaford when they acquired long term Sleaford employers Qube Global Software in October 2017 – an organisation that had been in the town since 1982.

The Sleaford team is seen as a key part of the company’s UK and international operations and will continue to play a major role delivering property software to businesses in the sector.

Regional Marketing Director James Lavery confirmed the proposed timescale of the office move. He said: “Our move to the NCCD facility demonstrates our commitment to the town, to the county and to the talent that emerges in the region.

“We are proud of our company’s roots in Sleaford and are looking forward to being part of an important creative hub for the area.”

Council Leader Cllr Richard Wright said: “To be able to accommodate a business such as MRI Software that broadens the concept of creativity through digital design for the property management sector is really good for the NCCD. It will provide a new home for MRI Software which currently employs more than 60 people in the town and will ultimately bring further vibrancy and financial stability to the national centre.

“The wider £1.2 million project will help us to attract even more visitors to Sleaford by broadening the variety of arts and entertainment on offer and we will also create a local hub whilst still maintaining and developing the Centre’s national significance. There will also be much needed conferencing facilities.

“As a Council we are committed to championing the arts, something we have done for more than a quarter of a century.

“The new–look building will feature a ground floor gallery, an artist workshop, a children’s zone and a performing arts studio. The food and drinks offer will also be significantly improved by a large indoor bistro and an outdoor seating area taking in views of the River Slea.”

Mr Lavery stressed that the October move in for MRI would only take place if it was completely safe for the staff bearing in mind the current Coronavirus pandemic.

“The new office will be a Covid secure environment which was are building out now but we are carefully monitoring the position. We are very cautious about what is going on and will not do anything unless it is safe for our staff and in strict accordance with government guidelines.

“We have enabled remote working practices to ensure safety and flexibility for staff. As a tech company we naturally migrated fast and successfully at the start of lockdown and this will continue until staff are ready to migrate back to physical locations in safety.

“Our office footprint in the UK has grown in recent times and Sleaford is a key component in our office network,” said Mr Lavery.

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