City of Mandurah is looking for not-for-profits to take over the Mandurah Business Development Centre lease

The City of Mandurah is looking for not-for-profit organisations with business managing skills who would like to take over the management of the Mandurah Business Development Centre (BDC) on Reserve Drive and inject some life into the forgotten business hub.

The centre was created as a business incubator in 2003 in an attempt to provide affordable office space to businesses starting out in the area and assist them in developing their commercial capability.

However, in December 2016, the City of Mandurah had to take over the lease of the facility after manager Mandurah Enterprise Centre Management Committee relinquished their lease.

The City is now hoping to pass on the management of the facility to an external not-for-profit that can demonstrate the necessary business management skills and is familiar with the small business scenario in Mandurah and Peel.

“Part of supporting local business may include providing a not for profit organistion which has a focus on local business with the opportunity to mange the centre,” City of Mandurah sustainable development director Tony Free wrote in a report.

“Such an organisation is likely to be closer to small business and able to respond to their changing needs more quickly than the City.”

The facility has 15 offices, a main office for the centre manager and a conference room.

However, only eight of the offices are currently leased, with seven more spaces sitting empty.

“Currently with the level of vacancies and the underutilisation of the conference room, if the City continues to manage the centre there will be a net cost to the City perhaps without maximising the benefits to the small business community of Mandurah,” Mr Free wrote.

According to Mr Free, City resources were also believed to be better spent on 21st century projects, such as entrepreneurial programs and digital initiatives, instead of brick and mortar facilities following a 1970-1980’s approach.

The City of Mandurah will put an expression of interest out in the near future.