For families and travellers who love a little bit of adventure

FAQ

THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Do you sell the pods?

We do not sell our pods. They are exclusively available to our partners. We build them ourselves to our own specifications in our factory in Belfast. This ensures that we have complete control over the quality of materials and the build process. They are designed and built to completely exceed all expectations. Pods are unregulated, so there are no minimum standards, however, our pods are designed to meet all current building regulations and therefore should be considered as a mini house, more than a glamping pod.

What are the benefits of working with Further Space?

When you partner with Further Space you avail of so many benefits, however the most popular benefits, according to our existing partners, are:

As a landowner, you cover the costs of planning and sitework, but by partnering with us we provide our 4 star pods with no upfront cost. That means that you can start your glamping site with as little as £60k, while we invest up to £250k.

 

We look after acquiring the customer - from advertising and marketing to reservations and customer services. As our partner you in turn look after the cleaning and change-over of the pods. This means our partners spend less time running their sites and have more time to run their existing business.

 

By working with us, you are partnering with experts in the glamping sector; here to help support you throughout our 10 year partnership. You’ll always have experts on hand to help advise you, support you and help grow your business. You’ll also be joining our network of other partners across the UK, happy to share best practise. 

Is Further Space a franchise?

In many ways Further Space is similar to a franchise. We offer partners access to business services, collective purchasing powers, have central advertising and marketing budgets and provide a strong brand. The main difference is that we empower our partners to put their own stamp onto their site, their pods and the way they welcome their guests. Sites are named by our partners, with their own branding. Each site is designed to reflect its location and its owners and as our partners provide the soft furnishings for their own pods there is also plenty of opportunity to influence their look and feel.

Do you have references from other partners / can I speak to them?

We are very happy to put prospective partners in touch with our existing partners. Once you have established that the Further Space model is right for you and we are happy that your site meets our criteria, we are happy to introduce you. That will enable you to ask them all of the questions you have, and to hear the responses from them directly.

Planning and architectural
Is it hard to get planning permission?

It can be difficult to get planning permission for a Glamping site. It depends on the policies outlined in your local area development plan. Our in-house architects are experts in working with the policies in each area and finding the best approach with individual planning regions. As part of each application, we produce comprehensive supporting documents to clearly outline the benefits of a Further Space site. To help reassure our partners we also have a pre-planning guarantee, offering partners a no-risk option should your project be refused at the pre-planning stage.

What is the minimum and maximum number of pods?

Further Space sites are designed to be tranquil places where guests can escape from the everyday stresses. As such we aren’t looking to create large scale developments. Therefore, the maximum number of pods we would consider is eight. In order for a site to be financially viable it would also need to have a minimum of three pods. 

My site is in an environmentally sensitive area - can we get planning?

There is no doubt that it is more difficult to get planning in environmentally sensitive areas, however it is not impossible. It does require a very different approach to the planning process. We work alongside local area planners to understand the constraints they are under and where possible to identify the policies within the local area development plans that will allow development to happen.  In these cases we would always make use of the pre-planning process to ensure our partners are not spending more money than necessary on architectural services, reports and additional surveys.

Construction and pod deployment
How much is it likely to cost to get up and running?

It is very difficult to say how much an individual site will cost as there is no such thing as an average site. We would suggest that you allow in the region of £75k for your planning and siteworks. The biggest variable in this is electricity - if you are a long way from the nearest connection, it may cost you significantly more to bring electric to your site. The other substantial variable is access / roads. If your site is a long way from the nearest road and/or you need to create a new access point onto the highway, this can quickly add up.

However, because we partner with you, investing in creating a partnership, you don’t have the very significant costs associated with purchasing your pods.

What are the biggest setup costs?

Electricity supply is likely to be the most significant set up cost. Even if you have power lines running through your site it can cost £15k to make that electricity useable for your site. If you have to bring electricity from further afield, it can cost significantly more. However please don’t let this put you off enquiring. It is very simple to get an estimate for your electrical work, so you will always know what the cost is likely to be, before committing.

Pre-launch and business readiness
Do I need insurance?

Yes. Further Space will provide total loss insurance (for if the pods are destroyed e.g by fire), however you will need to provide public liability insurance. For most partners, this is simply a case of extending your existing policy.

Do I need to pay business rates?

Yes, you will be liable to pay business rates, however these are covered by the partnership at the variable costs stage and therefore don’t need to be covered by your profit figures.

Who pays for wear and tear costs?

Genuine wear and tear costs are covered by the partnership at the variable costs stage. This means that although it reduces the partnerships overall profit, no one side is fully responsible for these costs.

Is there a minimum length of stay?

During the summer months we have a 2 night minimum stay. This ensures we maximise revenue and minimise turnaround costs during the high season. The few isolated single night stays this leaves are then released a few weeks prior to the start of summer enabling us to sell all available nights. Single night stays are charged with a 12.5% premium to help offset the additional turnaround costs.

How long does it take before I could have a location open?

From first making contact with Further Space our partners take approximately 12 to 15 months before sites are open. On average it takes 2 months to sign an agreement with us, 3 months planning preparation, 3 to 6 months in planning, 4 months site works.

Are dogs allowed in the pods?

We’re excited to report that we are currently trialling our first pet friendly pod site at Kinelarty, County Down. Ask us for more details about progress on this when applying.

Ongoing operations
How much can I make?

Potential revenue is dependent on a number of factors - your average occupancy rate, your average revenue per night and how many additional services you offer. As a group our sites average 60% occupancy across the year with an ex VAT nightly rate of £120. Including profit from additional services such as Fire and BBQ packs our partners return approximately £8k profit per pod. This is after all variable costs such as cleaning and laundry are covered and takes into account that we cover all advertising, marketing, reservations and customer services, meaning our partners invest far less time in running their sites than their peers.

How long is the contract?

Yes, you will be liable to pay business rates, however these are covered by the partnership at the variable costs stage and therefore don’t need to be covered by your profit figures.

What sort of occupancy can I expect?

During the Summer months our sites experience near 100% occupancy rates. However, over the course of a year this will average out to around 60%. Your first year may be lower than this whilst we work with you to build your site’s awareness, reputation, reviews and repeat customers. 

What average rate per night can I get?

Our current rates vary from £140 per night up to £195 depending on demand, season and day of the week. After VAT, on average our sites generate £120 per night. We continually review and benchmark our rates, working with you to ensure we maximise revenue.

What other revenue sources are there?

Our most profitable sites make significant additional income from ‘non-accommodation revenue’. For most of our sites these are elements such as Fire Packs, BBQ Kits, Breakfast, etc. However, there is no limit to what you can offer customers. Bike hire, exclusive fishing rights, horse riding, yoga classes and family photoshoots are all being offered or considered by our current partners. We offer the customer the chance to purchase these items through our website when they book their pod. This is the best possible time to sell these additional packages. Importantly, although we process this payment for you, 100% of the revenue for additional sales comes directly to you. We take no fees or commission.  

What happens at end of contract?

At the end of the agreement there are 3 options. 

  1. If both parties agree we simply extend the agreement by an additional 5 years.
  2. Either party can cancel the partnership - in this case we will remove the pods.
  3. If you wish to cancel the partnership but continue to run your glamping business yourself, you have the option to purchase the pods from us at the price they are valued at on our balance sheet. (e.g the depreciated book value)

 

Refurbishment of pods

 

Our business model allows for the refurbishment of the interior of the pods after 5 years.  This ensures that your pods are always in top condition for your guests, ensuring you can continue to maximise the revenue you can generate.

Can you help with funding?

If you need to secure additional funding in order to complete your siteworks, we are able to help with this process.  We can work with you to produce a detailed business plan for you to present to any potential lender. As we already have a significant number of sites up and running and our business model is proven to work, the income is clearly demonstratable.  This means lenders are more comfortable about supporting our partners as opposed to individuals with no experience in this industry.

Other types of frequently asked questions
Will people want to stay in my location?

If you set up your own independent glamping site, people who are interested in visiting your local area will search for possible accommodation and select your business from all the others that are available. You attract a percentage of the existing market. A Further Space partnership is completely different. With a substantial marketing budget, we are advertising via TV, Radio, Press and Digitally, across Ireland and the UK. This means customers search our website, find your location and travel to an area they may never have otherwise travelled to. We generate our own demand rather than simply taking a percentage of what is already available.

Is glamping and are your pods eco-friendly?

As a company, sustainability, global citizenship and caring for our environment is core to what we do. We have adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development goals as a framework for continually assessing and improving our performance as an organisation. With regards to the pods, they are built to have as low an impact as possible.  By using high grade materials, we ensure they have a lifetime in excess of 20 years.  At the end of their usable life they are returned to our factory where they will be disassembled and the vast majority of elements recycled. Our pods have a very low impact on the land and, where helping farmers to reduce their livestock numbers, actually have a negative carbon impact. They are insulated using industrial quality products, dramatically reducing their energy consumption. 

How are customer queries / complaints dealt with?

Customer relations, including complaints are part of the services we offer in our business model. We can deal with the majority of queries directly, without needing to contact you. If we receive any customer complaints we will contact you to discuss the details and to agree our approach, but we continue to manage the liaison with the customer.

Who recovers the costs if a guest causes damage?

If a customer causes damage to a pod we have the ability to recover the costs from the customer. We hold the customer’s payment details for a short period after their stay enabling us to directly charge any damage costs even if the customer refuses to accept liability. We will manage this process and will only take this step as a last resort.

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