An insurance broker with a long history in the Armagh area, ABL Group (formerly Abbey Bond Lovis) has relocated from a city centre location to Formation Works Armagh. With other branches in Belfast and Coleraine, this Armagh location services ABL’s customer base in the southern region of the province. A company growing from strength to strength, ABL Group required a larger, more flexible space and Formation Works Armagh provided the perfect office solution for its expanding needs.
We caught up with Commercial Manager, Sarah-Jayne Cromwell, about the decision to relocate their business here and their experience of FW life so far.
Tell us a little about ABL Group
ABL Group previously Insurance Partnership (in Armagh) and Abbey Bond Lovis are specialists in Insurance and Risk Management. We offer a range of personal, commercial and corporate insurances for businesses large and small.
How important is an attractive office space for your organisation?
We believe it’s vitally important for us at ABL to have an attractive office space. We think of this in the eyes of three groups of people. Firstly, our own staff. We’re operating a hybrid model at the moment and it is working extremely well for us as the staff enjoy the flexibility. However on days when they’re in the office we want them to enjoy a comfortable working environment. They are working at least 3 days out of their working week here so it’s important they feel at home here.
Secondly for customers, we believe it’s so important to have a space is really inviting for them to visit and to be impressed by the facilities.
Lastly, we’re thinking of our future employees as our business expands. Hopefully, showing that the group is invested in giving its staff an attractive, highly functioning environment in which to work will attract new talent to join us in the future.
What was it about Formation Works Armagh that appealed to you?
We previously occupied a building in Russell Street in Armagh City where we were a tenant for a number of years. We have built up a very loyal customer base here so it was important to us to relocate within the Armagh area itself. We were searching for a bright, airy, open plan office space and when we met with Stuart and he gave us the vision for the space here at Formation Works, we just knew it would be perfect for us. Stuart spent a lot of time taking on board our wants and needs and giving us exactly what we wanted. That impressed us from the beginning – the fact that our solution would be very much tailored to our individual needs as a company instead of trying to shoehorn us into an existing solution which perhaps would not be suitable.
How well does the building cater for your needs?
We’ve all been so impressed by the building and it provides exactly what we were hoping for. We’re loving having the whole team on one floor instead of across multiple floors as with our old property. The facilities at Formation Works are really great and easy for everyone to access. The parking facilities are another bonus for us as it is nice that clients can call in and not be restricted to parking time like they were in Russell Street.
How have you found the experience to date?
Everyone at Formation works has been extremely welcoming and it is nice we are beginning to get to know those from other businesses who are working from Formation Works too. That’s all part of the attraction for us, working in a very collaborative space where we can learn from other businesses and help provide opportunities for each other. All in all, we couldn’t be happier here and we’re looking forward to seeing how our business grows as we settle in fully.
If someone was considering a move into a Formation Works property, what would your advice be?
Go for it. You won’t regret it. From facilities to how well finished each space is. The attention to detail from all involved makes the process so much easier.