A new £14 million hub for creative businesses is gearing up to open its doors in Northampton.
Vulcan Works has been created by transforming a Grade II listed ironworks factory in the heart of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter into a space that will support start-up businesses in the creative industries through the provision of lettable office space, workshops, meeting rooms and co-working spaces.
The construction and refurbishment works have been funded by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), who facilitated a Local Growth Fund contribution of £6.3 million, together with £3.06 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
Vulcan Works has already attracted lots of interest from prospective tenants and viewings have been planned for the new year. Key stakeholders joined representatives from WNC for a first look in August once construction was completed. This was followed in September by the announcement that Oxford Innovation Space would take over as the management company for the new hub.
Since Oxford Innovation Space started managing Vulcan Works in September, work has progressed and support staff and local suppliers are currently being appointed with a view to Vulcan Works officially opening in February.
Among the newest recruits are Commercial Manager Kelly Boosey, Centre Manager Garrick Hurter and Assistant Centre Manager Gail Haddon.
Kelly said: “I am thrilled to come on board and work on such an exciting project. Already we have received a great volume of enquiries from a range of businesses within the creative and digital industries and have planned to start showing people around the space in the New Year.
“We will host our first Open Day mid-January which is already fully booked with further dates planned, so that we can showcase this extraordinary space. We can’t wait to start building the community at Vulcan Works. We are more than just space. Along with the fantastic, specialised business support we offer, we are going to create a brilliant hub for start-ups and scale-ups in Northampton. We would encourage anyone wanting to find out more to get in touch.”
It is estimated that Vulcan Works will support around 150 start-up businesses in its first 10 years, creating around 500 jobs in the area. The centre has also pledged to work with local contractors and agencies, ploughing more money back into the local economy.
Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “We are thrilled with how Vulcan Works has turned out. The space has been finished to an exceptionally high standard, whilst retaining a number of period features which provide a nod to our local history here in Northampton.
“The project is really gaining momentum now and is close to opening its doors. I look forward to finding out more about the creative start-up businesses who will call this unique space home and seeing what they achieve through the dedicated support on offer.”
As part of the Vulcan Works’ unique offer, Oxford Innovation Space will also provide access to a programme of workshops, seminars, 1:1 coaching and networking.
Jo Stevens, Managing Director at Oxford Innovation Space, added: “We have been managing Innovation Centres across the country for more than 30 years and each centre is different.
“We are hugely excited by Vulcan Works and it has been an honour to be part of such an inspiring regeneration project. We can’t wait to see some talented creative businesses move in and hope they feel just as inspired by this space as we are.”
To find out more about Vulcan Works, request a show around or be added to the invitation list for an Open Day, email email@example.com