Zoonou is a fast growing, high tech company at the forefront of Eastbourne's growing tech scene. The software testing and quality assurance specialist works with some of the biggest and best-known brands in the world.
Earlier this year, the company moved all its staff and testing facilities into a newly converted former derelict garage - now state-of-the-art offices and test lab, housing a library of over 300 mobile and tablet devices.
Restoration of the external build was achieved with grateful thanks to a grant from East Sussex County Council.Nick TurtonManaging Director, Zoonou
In the ten years since Jonathan Rogers and Nick Turton first formed the company back in 2007, its ISTQB accredited team has helped its global client base deliver over 3,000 projects, earning a reputation for providing a highly reliable service that is in constant demand.
Working with local property company Mistywell Ltd, Zoonou helped influence the plans and designs for the development of a rundown former garage on St Leonards Road that had been empty for many years. But it was important for all involved that the office still maintained the architectural features of the 100-year-old building.
To support the renovation and the company's high growth prospects, funding from ESI5, East Sussex County Council's Grants and Loans Programme was secured to help with the expansion and cost of the refit of the new offices and state-of-the-art test lab. This helped transform the eyesore for local residents and support the creation of four new jobs. The company employs thirty people now, with space to add another fifteen as sales grow. The new test lab has opened up a whole new wealth of opportunities for long-term growth.
It’s a fantastic building, the space is evolving over time - it’s reassuring to know we have the infrastructure to facilitate our planned growth in the next few years.
The choice of Eastbourne as the location for Zoonou was initially based on affordability and convenience. The town is also home to a growing population of companies operating in digital and tech. Now two-thirds of the staff live locally and another third travel in from Hastings. Nick’s seen the immediate locality populate with a digital business community, with CoHub, a local coworking space only a stone’s throw away.
Being just two minutes from the train station provides easy access to Zoonou’s 50+ digital agency clients based in London as well well an easy commute for staff. Eastbourne’s natural assets, the beach and closeness to the South Downs contribute to the attractiveness of working locally.
We’re proud to have a new base in Eastbourne that reflects the commitment and hard work of our team.Nick Turton Managing Director
The move has enabled all employees to work in two open-plan spaces, on the ground floor and mezzanine level above, with two meeting rooms along the edges of the space on the upper floor. The new open concept encourages collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas. Focused work and noisier activities occur in the two meeting rooms on the upper floor, adding flexibility to the open workspaces.
The next phase of growth will see Zoonou further develop its technical services, with plans for expansion into new markets supported by a focused sales and marketing drive:
“Building on what we have achieved, Zoonou is seeking markets outside of digital agencies in areas such as product development, e-learning and digital transformation. Alongside a focus on sales and marketing, we are increasing the capabilities of our technical teams across security, automation, performance and accessibility testing. Knowing we can expand in the current space allows us to focus on developing our business and helps underpin our plans for growth.
The company's own investment was match-funded by a loan/grant from East Sussex County Council’s East Sussex Invest 5 fund for the redevelopment of an old garage into new office space and test lab in St. Leonards Road, Eastbourne.
Funding was secured to support the relocation of offices with investment into new state-of-the-art offices IT equipment, fixtures and fittings, and to create a great working environment for staff.
Image credits: Caitlin Lock and Zoonou