A North Shields pub has been unveiled as the location of a new corporate HQ for growing accountancy firm Blu Sky as part of a £200,000 investment to renovate the old ‘Tun’ into a unique office space.
The 100 – known as the ‘Tun’ to locals – has been in existence for decades and operated under a number of different guises before losing its licence and closing in 2014. The pub will now be completely renovated and launched as the revamped headquarters for accountancy firm Blu Sky.
Jon Dudgeon, partner at Blu Sky said: “We’ve been based in North Shields since day one and our steady expansion over the past 10 years inevitably led to our current offices in Northumberland Square being unsuitable for the needs of our 20 members of staff.
“We’ve been searching for new office premises for quite some time but could never quite find the kind of space that suited our type of business. I walk past the Tun every day and could see that it had real potential to support a move from social space to business offices with the right vision and investment.
“Blu Sky is a very forward-thinking company and we like to challenge the accepted business model and service expectations of a traditional accountancy firm. Our new offices needed to reflect this and transforming a former pub certainly fits the bill. We wanted an open plan space that took into account our flexible approach to working and the lounge area of the pub really supports this type of environment.”
The offices have been designed by Blake Hopkinson Architects and are currently under construction by North East building firm, JD joinery and Building Services through their commercial building division.
Blu Sky has enjoyed steady growth in recent years thanks to an expanding portfolio of businesses seeking the firm’s progressive approach to accountancy services. The team seek to help ambitious start-ups, established businesses and freelancers on their journey to succeed and occupy a unique position as one of only a select number of firms worldwide to be a platinum partner of cloud-based accountancy software, Xero.
Jon continues: “A large proportion of our clients operate in the technology sector. They joined us at start-up stage several years ago and have gone on to become established firms and we have worked with them through that scale up process. About 60% of our clients are North East based with a further 40% based in the South and this is something we are actively looking to support with the design of our new office.
‘Successful growth outside of the region is reflective not only of our standing within the tech sector but also our ability to use new technology and adaptive working conditions to assist clients on a daily basis – in many cases as a virtual CFO – without necessarily being in the same location.
“We were one of the first Xero platinum partners and continue to look at ways new technology can add to our business offering – something our clients really value. The new office design will reflect this with breakout areas supporting communication tools such as Skype to bring us into the offices of our clients. We will, however, be retaining as much of the character of the building as possible and this will include the old wooden bar as the central feature of the new open plan space. Whether we are able to factor in retaining the pumps as a necessary feature of our working environment is up for discussion!
“We’re pleased to invest in the future of our business in North Tyneside and contribute to regeneration in this part of North Shields as the perfect place to locate our HQ. Bringing back to life a building that has been a key feature of the local area for a long period of time is a real bonus in our plans. It’s safe to say that the whole team is already looking forward to unveiling the new office premises in the summer and welcoming visitors and clients to enjoy the new-look surroundings of the ‘Tun’”