Cardiff-headquartered MotoNovo Finance began the move of more than 400 head-office staff to its new city centre office.

The move into the first five floors of One Central Square, the first scheme of the newly formed Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone, will see the premium eight-storey office block reach near maximum capacity.

MotoNovo’s expansion follows a period of sustained growth driven largely by its innovative culture and approach to managing and rewarding its staff. The firm was announced this year as sixth in The Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for, and the staff enjoy incentives including employee MotorV8 cards, which are loaded with rewards to recognise milestone achievements, regular incentive trips across all levels of the organisation, and additional annual leave for birthdays.

With significant investment from parent company FirstRand Bank Ltd and the Welsh Government, MotoNovo has been able to realise plans for continued future growth. With 888 desks across 71,500 sq ft of new office space, the project enables MotoNovo to embark upon the first phase of plans to expand its workforce to over 1,000 by 2020 –the new HQ will enhance its unique culture and provide an innovative home for an expanding workforce supporting a 100-strong field sales team in the UK.

The expansion will add around £18m in salaries alone to the Welsh economy, and provide a boost to Wales’ healthy financial and professional services sector, with new jobs being created in all areas of the business. ‘MotoNovians’ can now expect to enjoy views over the River Taff from the staff break-out area, which boasts a pool table, two racing car simulators, a working bar, and a large seated cafeteria — which the team recently voted should be named ‘One Central Perk’.

Meanwhile the working areas of the offices will benefit from state-of-the-art video conferencing suites, an intelligent meeting room booking system, and numerous quiet pods known as ‘cwtches’ – the Welsh word for safe place or hidey-hole.

MotoNovo chief executive, Mark Standish, said: “MotoNovo Finance’s history is strongly rooted in Cardiff, having been born here as Carlyle Finance back in the 1970s. Since then, we’ve enjoyed sustained growth, both in volume and in reputation, and this achievement is a testament to what happens when a talented team come together in pursuit of inspirational and stretching goals. The new One Central Square offices provide our staff with a first-class working environment, with the space and facilities to operate at maximum potential.

“We continually strive to create a culture in which people move up, not on, so being able to provide the team with offices they can be proud of is hugely significant. With this move complete, we are

ready to concentrate on the next phase of our growth plans, and set about the task of increasing our workforce to the benefit of the Welsh economy as a whole.”

The building project, which was managed by office design and fit out specialists Morgan Lovell, saw 1,827 metres of pipework, 15,000 metres of electrical cable, and 1,604 penny washers installed at the site over the course of 18 weeks.

Colin Allan, managing director of Morgan Lovell comments: “It was great to work with such a forward-thinking company like MotoNovo – they share many of our values, and providing a new dynamic space for their people has been a very fulfilling project. Creating first-class workplaces is a great way to attract and retain talent, which is something they place great emphasis on as a business.

“We really enjoyed having such a joined-up approach right from the start and we’re certain that the MotoNovo workforce will love their new space. We hope the new office will encourage greater staff interaction and integration, reinforce the winning one-team culture and boost pride in a company that is already recognised as one of the UK’s leading employers.”

MotoNovo Finance One Central Square Project: in numbers

  • 10: weeks spent planning the project
  • 7,000: cups of tea drunk by the building team over the 18-week project
  • 72”: the size of the plasma screen in the staff area
  • 200: the capacity of MotoNovo’s chief meeting room, which features theatre-style seating and a 4m wide presentation screen
  • 2: the number of on-site libraries open to staff
  • 4,000: the number of postage items expected to run through the new office postroom each day

Welsh Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said: “MotoNovo’s expansion is another strong vote of confidence in Wales and the support it can offer companies looking to grow their businesses. Their move into the city centre is another demonstration of the vibrancy of the financial and professional services sector in the region which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Located adjacent to Cardiff Central Station, staff at the offices are also set to benefit from convenient city centre transport links, as well as the 1 million square foot of office, residential and retail space due to be built across the entire Central Square regeneration scheme.

Launching as Carlyle Finance in 1972 by Sir Julian Hodge, MotoNovo Finance rebranded in 2012, following a period of sustained growth. With profits of £63 million over the past financial year, the company – which offers finance on cars, vans and motorbikes – is one of the most significant players of the Welsh business landscape.