Simon Harding founded Gainsborough Group in 1995 to provide serviced offices in London. Companies from one-man bands to the advertising giant J Walter Thompson will stay from four to 12 months before migrating to permanent offices. Gainsborough now has five centres in London, including prime sites in Pall Mall, Regent Street and Oxford Street. It has also opened a centre in Washington DC. Harding attributes Gainsborough’s success to the fact that the company provides good IT support. In February 2000, it formed a partnership with the property developer AWG Developments to build nine new centres across Britain, from Aberdeen to south London. Gainsborough’s sales have grown 135% a year from £292,000 in 1997 to £3.8m in 2000, when it had 19 staff.
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