It’s now just over a year since The Elizabeth Line arrived in Reading, connecting the town to the centre of London, reducing commuting times. With The Blade just over 5 minutes’ walk to the station, the Crossrail connection, as it was originally named, meant that our occupiers could go from their desks to the West End in an hour and all the way to Canary Wharf in less than an hour-and-a-half.
If you’re visiting The Blade soon, be ready for a new encounter following our recent reception makeover. Welcoming a stream of occupiers and their guests every day, our reception area is always a hive of activity. From early in the morning until the last few dedicated workers depart in the evening, there’s always someone passing through reception, stopping for a coffee or a chat, taking a call or just taking five minutes away from their desk – so we felt it deserved a little refurb!
During December, we ran our Reverse Advent Calendar campaign, encouraging occupiers to bring in food, drink and other store cupboard items which could be left under our Christmas Tree for donation to local food banks.
TYPE! is encouraging high-potential writers to write more, write better, write now — including at The Blade. Think writing, think Reading. The Blade’s hometown has a long-standing claim as a hot bed of literary talent. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated and inspired in Reading Gaol. The Wind in the Willows was conceived in nearby Pangbourne. And today the town is home to a thriving writing scene of open-mic nights, poetry readings and a new writing movement and magazine called TYPE!
Choosing an event space which offers something of a "wow factor" can be tricky especially in an urban environment such as Reading. Attendees can be keen to experience something fresh, original and different, helping give them an extra reason to leave their desks or home office space to come and meet others, or join a seminar or conference.
In late September, we hosted a creative writing workshop for occupiers at The Blade. Our Reception space transformed into a productive hub with a 45 minute guided session led by George Hamilton.
Reading is buzzing right now and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking at the latest reports from property experts Savills and Knight Frank or reading the annual health of the economy report from PWC/Demos, you’ll see that Reading is ticking all the boxes for residents and businesses alike.
Reading has long been a successful centre for business, largely due to its location. Sitting at the heart of the Thames Valley, surrounded by major business parks and with easy access to motorway and airport connections, it’s clear why many household names and blue chips have chosen the area for their UK, or even global, base. But even with such a strong pedigree, the last few years have seen Reading grow in prominence and attract more than its fair share of new occupiers. And with good reason, particularly as the town has much to offer both established and new businesses.
As a landmark building and centrally located, The Blade is one of the most desirable business addresses in the Thames Valley. We’re proud custodians of the building and love the rich and diverse range of companies that call it home. But it’s not something we take for granted. Earning and maintaining a top spot in a highly competitive market takes work and the people best placed to determine whether we’re still pushing all the right buttons are our occupiers. So, we’re pleased to share the first insights from our 2023 occupier survey.
Taking a break half-way through the day is always a good idea – it’s great for productivity, focus and wellbeing. Our friends at Walk Works have shared some useful tips about why it’s important not to skip breaks away from your desk, and some of the best places to take a lunchtime walk around The Blade.
As you’d expect, those of us who look after and manage The Blade think it’s pretty amazing. But it’s important for us to appreciate what businesses are looking for when it comes to office space, and what the drivers are when moving here. To help, we asked some of our agents why The Blade appeals to businesses, and some of the reasons why it’s fast becoming the space of choice in Reading.
Our on site team at The Blade are committed to providing a skilled, friendly and helpful service for occupiers, making certain each day runs effortlessly. Lydia is our Assistant Property Manager, working as part of the Northwood Investors team on the second floor.
Blade occupiers, Occuity, have been thinking the same thing. Have a look at their video interviewing their staff to see why young professionals are making the move out of London.
For the past few weeks, we’ve lent our 12th floor to RABBLE Theatre so they can rehearse for their upcoming production of Henry I. RABBLE is the region’s leading community-led professional theatre company. Based in Reading, the team focus on delivering local stories that place women front and centre and give those from low socio-economic backgrounds routes into the arts.
Our team at The Blade ensure that all occupiers enjoy a professional and helpful service to ensure everything runs smoothly and effectively. Mairi is our Assistant Marketing and Property Manager and is based at The Blade.
As commercial property owners with locations across the UK, we’re well aware of the differences in the way a building can operate, depending on how it is occupied. If a single building is occupied by a single organisation, it takes on the personality of that company. The products they offer, the services they provide, the comings and goings of their team, their visitors and even their deliveries affect the building. When a building has multiple occupiers, the personality is entirely different.
There are many reasons why companies choose their offices. It might be they like to have their own front door, want a ‘wow’ space, are growing rapidly and need room to expand, want immediate access to hospitality and leisure or need good transport links. But increasingly, we’re seeing the question of sustainability coming up as a key driver when talking to prospective and existing occupiers.
As the saying goes, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. It would appear this quote is most evidently attributed to the advice given to a young Peter Parker (AKA Spiderman) in 1962, a character synonymous with tall buildings. As custodians of the tallest building in Reading, we share that feeling of responsibility.
It’s difficult to know what might have prompted The Rabble Theatre to consider putting on a production about Henry I, ‘spare’ son of William the Conqueror and his quest to steal the limelight amid a feuding royal family…
In late February IBB Law moved into the Penthouse suite of our landmark office space. IBB Law is a leading law firm in the Thames Valley, West London and the western Home Counties, and has chosen 4,500 sq. ft on the top floor of The Blade to create an open plan office with meeting rooms and break out space.
The Blade is a member of the Abbey Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) which aims to champion Reading and make it an attractive option for businesses, and for everyone who works here. As an iconic building, which has fast become a well-known and recognised part of the Reading skyline we feel it’s really important to help support and nurture the growing business community here. The Abbey Quarter BID helps us do just that.
As part of our connection with the Abbey Quarter BID, everyone working at The Blade has the opportunity to join a free weekly yoga session. Purdy Smith from Yoginah, who runs the sessions, and whose purpose-built yoga studio is opposite The Blade, explains some of the benefits.
The team at The Blade are focused on providing a professional and supportive service to keep everything running efficiently. Charlotte is a member of the Northwood Investors team, and is based at The Blade on the 2nd floor.
The Blade’s modern and contemporary space has proved the perfect setting for Occuity, which has grown from start up to accomplished player in the MedTech space in just a few years.
If you’re reading the title of this article and questioning how we could possibly move The Blade closer to London or London closer to The Blade, don’t worry, we’ve not gone crazy. We’re merely celebrating the arrival of the Elizabeth Line to Reading.
Many businesses are eager to re-introduce employees back into the office after long periods spent working from home. But how can you revitalise or re-envisage your office to best effect whilst supporting more agile working? We share some key steps to consider, helped by Clare Wilkinson, Head of Design at Crown Interiors.
The Blade is a fully serviced office, and our in-house team ensures a smooth experience for all occupiers. Mark Nanney is The Blade’s resident maintenance engineer, responsible for keeping everything running smoothly every day.
Many of our occupiers love The Blade’s location in Reading, and enjoy the opportunity to stretch their legs in our nearby green spaces. Once a week, our friends at Walk Works run an organised walk in Reading for occupiers to join. Caroline Gratrix, founder of Walk Works, explains her motivation behind setting up the group.
Choosing to be based at The Blade came naturally to the team from Altitude Angel. The most iconic building in Reading, with its spire and panoramic views across 40 miles, was the perfect location for a company whose focus is the sky.
Where we work, and the environment around us, has a huge impact on our productivity and wellbeing. Yet there’s no doubt about it, recruiting in most sectors is tough right now. Vacancies sit at an all-time high whilst those actively looking for work is falling, and that’s before you’ve even tackled trying to select people with the right skills, qualifications and ambition. So, how can you stand out in the crowd when recruiting new talent? Could your offices be part of the draw?
The Blade’s welcoming and supportive team help keep all aspects of the building running smoothly. Alison is a member of our cleaning team and ensures our facilities offer an impressive welcome to all.
At The Blade, our friendly, helpful teamprovide support with all aspects of managing the office space. Kevin is our cleaner and is a familiar and welcomingface to many of our occupiers.
At The Blade, our friendly, professional team provide support with all aspects of managing the office space. Joanna is our Corporate Receptionist, and usually the first point of contact for anyone at The Blade.
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