Member Article

Two Connect Derby Studios Set to Open Their Doors to Non-Creatives for the First Time

Friar Gate Studios and Sadler Bridge Studios, the hub of Derby’s creative industries, are set to open their doors to non-creative businesses for the first time.

The buildings, on Ford Street and Bold Lane in the city, have been given the green light to let up to 30% of their space to tenants from across the creative industries supply chain.

When Friar Gate Studios was launched in 2007, it received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The funding secured was to promote the development of the creative sector in the city, with only businesses operating in the creative sector eligible to take space there. The same applied to Sadler Bridge Studios, which opened its doors in Spring 2014.

Now, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), who administer the fund, has agreed a relaxation of the criteria in order to further promote entrepreneurship within the city, with up to 30% of space now available to businesses in the creative industries supply chain.

This change will allow a wider range of businesses to operate from the two studios and will promote collaboration by giving creative businesses access to a range of complementary services.

These include professional service companies such as accountants, lawyers, financial services and HR professionals, along with education and training companies.

Speaking about the relaxation of the criteria, Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, said:

“Friar Gate Studios has been the hub for Derby’s thriving creative community for almost 13 years and Sadler Bridge Studios has enjoyed similar success since it opened almost five years ago.

“We have created a wonderful working environment in both buildings and are really pleased we can open them up to businesses involved in the creative industries supply chain.

“This is an exciting new chapter in the life of two of Derby’s best-known managed workspaces. We look forward to welcoming new tenants to Friar Gate and Sadler Bridge Studios and giving them the support they need for their businesses to flourish.”

The arrival of Friar Gate Studios to the city in 2007 set the foundation for what has now become a hugely successful managed workspace sector in Derby.

The multi-million pound Connect Derby project was launched in 2014 and now operates seven very diverse office buildings across the city - Friar Gate Studios, Sadler Bridge Studios, Kings Chambers, Shot Tower, Riverside Chambers and the iHub innovation centre on Infinity Park.

The scheme provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to grow and develop. Tenants enjoy superfast broadband, meeting rooms equipped with AV equipment, and 24/7 access. Co-working services and virtual office services are also available.

Connect Derby also operates a dedicated business support and mentoring programme and organises a busy events calendar, with business leaders sharing their expertise with tenants and the wider business community.

A number of offices are currently available at Friar Gate and can accommodate anything from a sole trader to larger expanding companies.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Donna Hill .

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