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New occupant for this Prince of Wales Road office building in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 17:09 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 04 August 2017

1 Prince of Wales Road where Validus has let 15,000 sq ft of office space in the largest deal of the year so far. Picture: Bidwells

1 Prince of Wales Road where Validus has let 15,000 sq ft of office space in the largest deal of the year so far. Picture: Bidwells

Bidwells

Expanding insurance technology firm Validus has signalled its plans to grow by taking new Norwich offices in a deal said to be the biggest in the city this year.

Validus will move from its site in Princes Street to a 15,000 sq ft office in Prince of Wales Road, after signing leases of up to 10 years on three floors of the building.

The business runs an intermediary software platform used by around 75% of insurers in the UK, and has been targeting overseas growth in markets such as Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Chief executive Edwyn Van Rooyen said: “A new office a is necessity because of our growth. The team has expanded, particularly the technology team, and we were running out of room.”

Validus, which reported a turnover of £6.68m for the year to April 30 2016, has taken up offices at 1 Prince of Wales Road in what agents Bidwells said was the largest business letting deal of the year, at a combined rent and service charge of £260,000 a year.

Validus employs around 190 people with the bulk of those in Norwich and Mr Van Rooyen said that number was likely to rise.

“We have secured pilots in Australia and South Africa,” he said. “It depends on our international growth but we are expecting to grow to between 220 and 250 people.

“We have always very much been a business that tries to grow from within. Norwich has a thriving tech sector and it can be hard to just expand the team so we may have to have a partner.”

Mr Van Rooyen added that Validus was targeting £10m turnover by the end of its financial year in April, having invested in recent years.

He said: “We built a solution for the market as we saw it and now we are reaping the rewards. We stole a bit of a march on our competitors.”

Mr Van Rooyen said the new office was open plan and would suit the vibe of the tech company.

Validus’s Verify software enables insurers to make claims from each other through an intermediary portal, with 60,000 claims a month being logged.

Bidwells was acting for landlord NFU Mutual. Surveyor Chris Squirrell said: “Securing the largest office let in Norwich so far in 2017 is a great tribute to our team and marks a major milestone for 1 Prince of Wales Road.”

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