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Please Note: Not for broadcast or publication before 00.01 Monday 12 May 2008

As owners and operators from around the world gather for the annual Business Centre Association (bca) Conference and Exhibition in London on 12 and 13 May 2008, bca executive director Jennifer Brooke is bullish about the future of the sector: “Flexible managed space providers report continued strong growth across both office and light industrial space, bucking the trend in the wider commercial property market,” she reports.

BCA conference is recognised internationally as the most important annual event in the Flexible Space calendar. This year’s conference features speakers including James Caan, entrepreneur and panellist on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, commentator and finance specialist Justin A Urquhart Stewart and marketing expert Mike Ashton of Hilton Internationa. Brooke says 400 delegates will attend to learn, share and support the growth of flexible managed space.

“Flexibility, Innovation and Service are the themes of the conference this year,” says Brooke, “which will be taken up by our speakers. James Caan has operated in the flexible managed space sector as well as locating his businesses in them, so he knows first hand the true advantages and benefits. James will share his personal perspective on the Art of Doing Business, which has helped make him so successful.”

Justin A Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management and a frequent commentator on economic and investment issues will take a hard look at the current economic climate – and how we arrived at where we are today – and make some predictions for the future, for both the UK and major overseas markets.

Mike Ashton, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hilton International will look at the absolute necessity for Flexibility, Innovation and Service in every business aiming for success.

“Building a successful brand requires an organisation to deliver on these key principles,” says Brooke, “and Mike will provide delegates with a clear vision of how to address the critical challenges of attracting and then harnessing talent, managing change and communication effectively and, perhaps most importantly in today’s economy, sponsoring collaboration.”

bca members have more than 670 locations throughout the UK and beyond, providing space to around 40,000 businesses, most of which are SMEs. “That’s around 500,000 individual workstations,” says Brooke, “which is a significant slice of the SME market. We estimate growth of around 5% growth per year, as increasing numbers of SMEs and start-up businesses choose the flexibility offered by business centre locations.

“Our members operate more than 40 million square feet of flexible managed space – business centres and light industrial space – and despite the economic squeeze and the impact of reductions in Empty Rates Relief we remain optimistic about future growth.”
The bca Conference and Exhibition takes place in the Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London on 12 and 13 May 2008.

END - 9 MAY 2008

Issued on behalf of the BCA by Eileen Prior, Prior PR.

For further information contact Eileen on or 07802 180 412.

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