Sponge, based at Plymouth Science Park, continue international expansion as success grows
More than 80 jobs are being created at a Plymouth Science Park based company this year as tech firm Sponge continues to expand upon its’ award-winning successes – despite the current uncertainty generated by Brexit.
Sponge delivers bespoke digital learning designed to train employees and improve performance for multi-national brands.
Virtual reality is just one of the latest technologies used by the team to make learning an immersive and enjoyable experience. One such training package focused on helping Royal Mail postal workers reduce the risk of dog attacks during their rounds.
The company has won a number of awards over the past year, including being named Learning Provider of the Year at the prestigious 2019 Learning and Performance Institute Learning Awards.
Around 120 people are employed across five offices and Sponge is now looking to boost this number to more than 200 by the end of 2019.
“Our focus this year is consolidating our UK and European base,” explains Louise Pasterfield, Sponge’s Managing Director. “In addition to our Plymouth headquarters, we have offices in Bristol, London, Sheffield and Dublin. By 2020, we plan to have expanded our European footprint to the continent and we’re also currently exploring the US market.”
With the current political and news agenda being guided by events in Westminster and Brussels, Sponge is preparing for every eventuality associated with Brexit.
“The possibility that we may exit the EU with no deal is, in part, helping shape our strategy around fostering stronger relationships in the US.”
“Just as no deal will mean the UK having to renegotiate overseas trade agreements with the rest of the world, we are exploring our commercial relationships outside of Europe. However, our Dublin office helps us maintain our foothold in the EU.”
“Operating in the service industry, we are not affected by import / export tariffs, but there’s uncertainly around the impact of Brexit on exchange rates and contractual laws.”
“The impact on our exchange rate could actually prove to be advantageous to us doing business in the US and beyond in the future. However, changes in legislation may mean we need to update existing contracts with our European clients. Watch this space.”
Sponge is celebrating its 15th birthday this year and the milestone is also important for Plymouth Science Park which has assisted in the company’s development since its inception.
“Plymouth Science Park has really supported our expansion over the past 15 years. Our incredible growth has meant we’ve actually had to move seven times, all within the Science Park.”
“Moving can be disruptive for a business but PSP has always ensured each move has been a fairly painless process; in most cases we’ve closed the door on one office in the evening and opened the door to another the following working day. As a rapidly growing business, having this flexibility for expansion is key.”
“We recently refreshed our brand and logo earlier this year, calling for new car park and reception signage – PSP have facilitated these changes without fuss.”
“PSP’s connection with the University of Plymouth and its joint events programme are also advantageous to us in our graduate recruitment efforts locally. In fact, more than a third of our people are alumni.”
“In addition, we get to work in a great location, with lovely views of green fields and wild deer.”