WANdisco in threat to quit HQ over rent rise

WANdisco opens on the London Stock Exchange
WANdisco opens on the London Stock Exchange
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ONE of Britain’s most successful technology companies is threatening to leave its base in Yorkshire in a row over rent, writes Bernard Ginns.

WANdisco is dual headquartered in Sheffield and Silicon Valley and has a market capitalisation of nearly £300m.

Chief executive David Richards said property managers at council-owned Electric Works have delivered a 20 per cent increase in rent as a “fait accompli”.

He said he was “very disappointed” at the move and said his software company has invested millions of pounds in Sheffield.

He contrasted WANdisco’s experience in Belfast, where it opened an office a year ago and now has 20 staff.

“We are running a business. We have to look at alternatives,” Mr Richards said.

WANdisco said it pays up to £100,000 a year for 6,500 sq ft at the Sheffield city centre building, which provides space for creative and digital enterprises.

Creative Space Management director Paul Taylor said Electric Works aims to support growing businesses, particularly at the early stage.

Edward Highfield, director of Creative Sheffield, said: “It’s right that they review their property options and they have been offered a market rate to stay in Electric Works.

“We very much hope they stay in Sheffield and want to work with them to make sure that is the case.”

WANdisco floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2012. It is due to report results today.