Venue specialist ExecSpace buoyed by deal

Emma Little and Danny Cockton of ExecSpace. Picture: Jane Barlow

Emma Little and Danny Cockton of ExecSpace. Picture: Jane Barlow

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AN EDINBURGH firm that books venues for clients such as life and pensions providers Aegon and Standard Life has landed a “transformational” deal to provide its services to the public sector in Scotland.

ExecSpace, founded by chief executive Emma Little in 2008, won its place on the Scottish Government’s procurement framework away from incumbent Capita, the FTSE 100 outsourcing giant, following a competitive tendering process.

Little said: “We’re the only provider under the lot for conference and meeting venue bookings. It’s the best thing to have happened to ExecSpace.”

The firm currently employs 17 people and Little said she expects to take on up to four more staff by the end of next year as a direct result of winning sole provider status on the framework, a “one-stop shop” for the government, loc­al authorities and police and fire services to book venues for conferences and meetings.

The procurement service is also open to the voluntary sector and universities and colleges across Scotland.

Little said: “The Scottish procurement framework is potentially transformational for ExecSpace and builds on a strong 2015 for the business, during which we have bolstered the team with a number of business wins and key hires.”

Earlier this year, the company appointed Danny Cockton, formerly account manager at Capita’s travel and events division, as operations director.

“We have to be bold when it comes to recruitment, because if you promise the earth to clients you have to deliver it,” Little told Scotland on Sunday.

She said ExecSpace, which also has offices in Aberdeen and London, has enjoyed double-digit revenue growth in each year since she founded the business and is on track to generate turnover of more than £6 million this year.

Little set up the firm after working as a corporate acc­ount manager at Vodafone, managing its relationship with Royal Bank of Scotland. ExecSpace secured a six-figure cash injection in 2013 from private equity firm Bradenham, which has also backed Vegware, the Edinburgh-based maker of compostable food packaging.

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