Rising demand sees TMD expand with larger HQ

TMD's CEO Christopher Graham

RISING demand has seen Glasgow-based marketing, design and events agency The Marketing Department (TMD) open a new headquarters in Govan.

The company, which has an international client base, has been located in Bath Street in the city centre since 2017 but has signed a five-year lease on larger office space within the historic Fairfield Govan Heritage Centre and Workspace.

TMD’s new studio is based at the former headquarters of Fairfield, the most successful ship designers and builders of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Located within the Central Govan Conservation Area, the iconic A-listed edifice which was built between 1889 and 1891, has been restored in a £5.8 million project to provide a heritage centre and prestigious office accommodation.

The former drawing offices once used by engineers and draughtsman have been refurbished to accommodate a mezzanine level and TMD chief executive Christopher Graham believes the exciting move will help underpin the firm’s growth plans.

“We have enjoyed being in the city centre but as time wore on it became less and less suitable for us to remain there,” he said.

“This spectacular building ensures that we will be better placed to assist current and future clients in achieving their goals through superior design, marketing and slick events. 

“Our new space, which Charles Rennie Mackintosh helped create as an apprentice, was originally the offices of Fairfield’s naval architects. It is here they designed over 700 ships. It is thrilling for us to return the space to the use it was originally designed for: creative business. It is the perfect space for designing!”

At approximately 1500 square feet, the new studio is nearly 10 times the size of the previous office. TMD will also have use of the impressive Fairfield Boardroom, which has been preserved through the ages.

“I think the expectation has been that a creative agency should be in the city centre but Covid has changed that and we proved to ourselves and others that wasn’t the case anymore,” said Mr Graham.

“We are so excited to be based at Fairfield as there is a real synergy for us. This place was left abandoned for a long time before it was bought over and repurposed and it gives me a buzz to know we’re taking it back to being a design office which it hasn’t been since the ’50s and ’60s

“From an ethical point of view, it really suits us as well as it’s run by the charity Govan Workspace. The surplus they make goes back into the community so I’m happier paying into an organisation like that which will maintain this heritage site and support the local community and not just pocket the money.

“Govan is the place to be as far as I am concerned. There are a lot of businesses moving here and there are a lot of things happening in the local area. It has had, undeservedly, a fairly negative reputation in the more modern times and it would be nice to help shift perception a bit as it is a very vibrant and diverse part of Glasgow.”

The larger office has allowed TMD to launch a recruitment drive.

“The move will help us to enjoy increased growth,” said Mr Graham, who is also chairman of the Scottish charity Stepping Stones for Families.

“We have had a lot of interest from companies. Already we have been appointed to execute a full rebrand and design a new website for Govan HELP, as well as look at options to mark their 25th anniversary. We will do more in the third and private sectors and want to build our reputation and become the No. 1 creative and events agency for this part of Glasgow and beyond.”

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