Emergency lifeline for blaze-hit firms
BUSINESSES whose premises were destroyed in a fire have stayed operational after taking up the offer of emergency accommodation.
Internet Central, an internet service and disaster recovery provider, based at Keele University Science and Business Park (KUSBP), has made space at its disaster recovery suite available to firms which lost their offices in the fire at the old Twyfords building, in Etruria, on December 28.
The suite includes PCs, phones, internet access, offsite systems back-up and secure email and file storage service.
It is usually only available to Internet Central contracted clients in the event of a disaster, but has been opened up to the fire-hit companies at a reduced rate.
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Kent House, a web design and search engine marketing specialist, was the first company to move into the suite.
Its office was destroyed in the fire, which started accidentally, along with about £100,000 of equipment.
Kevin Holdridge, managing director of Kent House, which employs seven staff, said: “Without it we wouldn’t have been able to remain fully operational while we make other office arrangements.
“In this type of situation, as long as the insurance company plays fair, you will get reimbursed for all the equipment.
“In the meantime, you’ve got to be doing business to stay in business and in that sense, having the emergency office accommodation has been a godsend.”
Staff at Kent House have not yet been able to even revisit their former site as the area is unsafe.
Client websites were unaffected by the fire as these are all hosted in remote data centres and Kent House has offsite backup of most of its electronic data.
Mr Holdridge added: “We are doing our best to get everything back to normal. We are checking what premises are available at the moment and trying to get permanent accommodation.”
Internet Central is in talks with other companies about providing office space. The fire also destroyed its IC-Air base station mounted on its roof, delivering wireless superfast broadband services to nearby businesses.
As well as opening up its recovery suite, it worked to restore the connections for the other affected businesses by providing a power feed from a nearby building to its base station.
Jonathan Edge, operations director at Internet Central, said: “When we heard about the fire, which is only 15 minutes away from our offices, it seemed right to offer the suite to companies involved, giving them the chance to minimise the impact on their businesses.”