WHEN Huntingdonshire's ec-onomy relies on small firms for 90 per cent of its employment and needs thousands more jobs to provide work for a rapidly-expanding population, successful firms need new premises to grow into. Business parks in the district have been growing rapidly to accommodate the demand, and it is comforting that a home-grown developer is at the forefront of satisfying the needs created by expanding local businesses. At the heart of the formula developed by Artisan (UK) Developments Limited - a principal subsidiary of one of Huntingdonshire's very few plcs - is the flexibility to build speculatively or to order, and to offer clients the choice of renting their new premises or buying the freehold. With many of its clients on business parks in Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and beyond being companies with just 10-30 employees, it was natural for ADL, as the Hunts Post Business Awards' newest sponsor, to want to put its name behind the New Business Award for 2007. Many of the district's rapidly-growing companies already run their enterprises from premises provided by Artisan, which also has a house-building subsidiary operating primarily in the East Midlands. The group's confidence was boosted recently by an announcement shortly before its June 30 year end that expected performance to exceed market expectations when it reported on its latest 15 months' activities. Changes in the market in recent months led the group to reconsider its previous policy of selling on the freeholds of leased premises in favour of holding onto them as landlord. It has created a new subsidiary. Supporting enterprise in the community through sponsoring the award makes good business sense for Artisan, said chief executive Chris Musselle. "We see new businesses as current or future customers, and a lot of our own success has been because of prosperous and successful businesses in this area," he added. Not all clients are commercial companies in their own premises, however. Charities, including the Thalidomide Trust and Mencap, have taken Artisan premises, and pension funds have bought some of the freeholds as part of their investment portfolios. And, to underline its confidence in its own build quality, Artisan will soon move its Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, headquarters to new 8,000 sq ft premises it is building at nearby Vantage Park. Current Artisan (UK) Developments Ltd projects include the 26-acre Colmworth Business Park in St Neots, Vantage Park in Huntingdon, Venture Court in St Ives, Fenice Court in St Neots, Opus office park and Axon office park in Peterborough and an office development in St Albans. New sites to come include a new business park in Kings Lynn. "Every Artisan development is designed and built with careful consideration by a talented team of architects and planners," Mr Musselle said. "Artisan prides itself on efficiently providing many types of businesses with modern premises specific to their individual needs and demands, and offers bespoke design and build options and tailored solutions." Its reputation was boosted by the decision of Little Paxton-based but American-owned Black Teknigas to expand into larger Artisan-built premises at Colmworth. INFORMATION: Artisan (UK) Developments Limited is at Mace House, Sovereign Court, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6XU; telephone: 01480 436777; fax: 01480 436230.