Creating the Workshop: Zoonou’s test lab rejuvenates local area

Rhodri details how we approached the challenge of choosing the right type of space and features to house our expanding innovative technology company.

As we approached our 10th anniversary here at Zoonou last year, much had changed since Eastbourne residents Jonathan Rogers and Nick Turton first formed the company back in 2007. Having already been in four different locations over the decade, the team was once again growing beyond the capacity of our limited office space.

We started to look for options for new premises that were large enough to fit our expanding team, but that also had the right type of space and features to house an innovative technology company.

It was at this time that we happened upon a fortunate introduction to the team at Mistywell Ltd who own the popular Enterprise Shopping Centre and office spaces in central Eastbourne. Mistywell had identified a rundown former garage on St Leonards Road that had been empty for many years. More than a wasted space, the property was an eyesore for local residents.

Before Renovation

Zoonou Workshop exterior before renovation

Zoonou Workshop interior before

In partnership with Mistywell, Zoonou helped to influence the plans and designs for the development.

We needed the space to feel modern and fully-equipped for our testing activities. This included housing of our large mobile and tablet device library. But it was important for all involved that the office still maintained the rustic quirks of the near 100 year old building.

During Renovation

Zoonou Workshop Interior During

In early 2018, the workshop development was complete and Zoonou moved the full team and test lab facilities into the exceptional new space.

Denise Harwood, Commercial Director of Mistywell Ltd and the Enterprise Centre states:

“Mistywell Ltd are delighted to have been able to restore this once derelict building into a high specification, contemporary, bespoke office complex for Zoonou. As a fast growing, high tech, innovative company, Zoonou, who were keen to stay local, now have the opportunity to grow into their space, creating more jobs in our town. We were able to achieve this project using several local craftsmen too!

Restoration of the external build, with a nod to its original 1930s façade, was achieved with grateful thanks to a substantial grant from East Sussex County Council. We are very pleased with the positive feedback from both Zoonou and our neighbours on the completion of this unique building!”

Nick Turton, Managing Director of Zoonou, observes:

“We’ve been in the new test lab for just over 6 months now. It’s a fantastic building; the open plan design enables us to work collaboratively on projects. The space is evolving over time, and it’s reassuring to know we have the infrastructure to facilitate our planned growth in the next few years. Many of our clients have commented positively on the look and feel of the offices, and we’re proud to have a new base in Eastbourne that reflects the commitment and hard work of our team.”

After Renovation: The Workshop

Zoonou Workshop

Zoonou Workshop Interior After Renovation

Zoonou Workshop Exterior After Renovation

Zoonou Workshop Interior After

Zoonou Workshop Interior After

Zoonou Workshop Pool Table

Photos by Annalisa Khan Photography.

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