Cactus Images Expand to New Studio Space

After more than a decade of success at Connect Derby managed workspaces, commercial photography studio Cactus Images has expanded to new premises in the city.

The company was founded in 2008 by Angela Jenkins and Chris Howard, who met when they were studying for a degree in commercial photography at University of Derby. Cactus Images started life at the university’s Banks Mill creative studios, before joining Connect Derby’s Friar Gate Studios in 2010.

Since then, both Cactus Images and Connect Derby have gone from strength to strength. By 2016, Cactus Images had outgrown its studio space at Friar Gate Studios and expanded to the penthouse suite at the iconic Marble Hall, which is also part of the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces.

Cactus Images work with a broad client base, including Fujifilm, World of Sweets, and Royal Crown Derby.

Following another sustained period of growth, Cactus has now outgrown any available space at the six Connect Derby managed workspaces and has relocated to a new 3,500 sq. ft studio on Gresham Road in Allenton, just minutes away from their previous premises.

Angela and Chris have also expanded their team. Charlie Valentine, also a University of Derby alumni with a first class honours degree in Commercial Photography, joins the studio after working as a fashion photographer since 2021. In her new role as studio co-ordinator and assistant, Charlie will help organise the studio, liaise with clients, and assist on photoshoots. 

During their time at Connect Derby, Cactus Images established itself as one the region’s leading commercial photography and post-production studios, with a reputation for its ability to translate its clients’ ideas into dynamic images.

As the business has developed, Angela and Chris have expanded the range of services they offer to support and strengthen their photography projects and now provide creative planning, prop sourcing, styling and set builds.

Speaking of the move and the help and support the business has received from Ann Bhatti and her team over the past 12 plus years, Angela said:

“When we joined Connect Derby in 2010, we were new to business and were unsure of what would come next for us. Connect Derby provided us with a studio space that met all our needs, and most importantly created an environment for our business to grow and succeed.

“The help and support that the Connect Derby team, particularly Ann, have given us over the years has been invaluable and we will always be grateful. It is sad to leave, but this is an important step in Cactus Images’ development – and we will still pop in to Marble Hall for a cup of tea with the team!”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:

“It is with a mixture of a heavy heart and immense pride that we have to say goodbye to Angela and Chris after a wonderful 12 years plus with Connect Derby.

“They’ve been fantastic tenants and are a great example of what a company can achieve with the right infrastructure and the range of business support and mentoring that is available through Connect Derby.

“I look forward to catching up with them soon in their new premises once they’re settled in.”

Pick Everard Relocates Derby Office To Sadler Bridge Studios

Leading independent property, construction, and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard has relocated its Derby operation to Sadler Bridge Studios, part of the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces.

Pick Everard, a multi-disciplinary practice encompassing architecture, engineering and professional management services, is making the move from Kenning Studios on Queen Street to Sadler Bridge Studios, located in the heart of the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

The practice, which was founded in 1866, has 15 offices throughout the UK, including London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Leicester, Manchester, Glasgow, Nottingham and Derby.

The exciting move is part of a wider national office strategy enabling the business to adopt more agile and collaborative ways of working for its growing 650 plus work force; specifically for its team of 30 based at the Derby Studio.

Its client list spans a wide range of public and private sector organisations throughout the UK and abroad, including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, MoJ, MoD and the Houses of Parliament in addition to large banking clientele.

The Derby office directly supports a range of commissions with important locally based clients including Bowmer + Kirkland, Rolls-Royce, Nottingham Trent University, Leicester Tigers, Derbyshire County Cricket Club and PMI Developments.

Sadler Bridge Studios is located in the heart of Derby’s commercial district, close to shops, bars, and public transport links. The purpose-built workspace was constructed in 2014 and comprises of 35 units in a three-storey modern multi-occupancy office building. SBS also contains RASK, a Scandinavian-style café on the ground floor.

Commenting on Pick Everard’s move to Sadler Bridge Studios, David Nisbet, Partner said:

“We’re delighted with our new home at Sadler Bridge Studios. Its location in the heart of the city is perfect for us, and the facilities are ideal for our evolving office portfolio.

“Our aim is to provide outstanding services to our clients and communities, developing our agile and collaborative style of working. 

“The team at Connect Derby have been very accommodating and have enabled us to achieve a seamless transition into our new office space.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:

“I’d like to welcome such a long-standing and well-established business as Pick Everard to Sadler Bridge Studios. They are a great addition to the range of creative businesses already based here.

“Sadler Bridge Studios’ city centre location is proving increasingly popular with businesses looking for a flexible and hybrid working environment. We now boast a diverse community of new and established businesses from across the creative industries and the supply chain to the creative industries.”

Connect Derby Has Best Start to The Year for Five Years

Connect Derby, the city’s primary managed workspace provider, has enjoyed the best start to a year for five years, with 6% of space currently under offer.

78,000 sq. ft of office and studio accommodation is currently let, with 5,600 sq. ft under offer – the highest level in the past five years and a clear indication that the managed workspace provider has recovered from the downturn following the pandemic.

In the current financial year, the workspace provider has let more than 7,600 sq. ft of space.

The success comes as a result of Connect Derby’s strategy of responding to the changing nature of the workplace with the introduction of new, flexible ways of working.

A diverse range of businesses have already taken space at Connect Derby buildings this year, including property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard who have left their former home on Queen Street in the city to join Sadler Bridge Studios.

Launched in 2014, Connect Derby supports small and medium enterprises, providing them with the flexible accommodation, advice, and guidance they need to support growth. A variety of accommodation is available, including conventional offices and studios, along with co-working space, hot desk facilities and virtual tenancies.

Connect Derby continues to innovate in order to support businesses following the pandemic. Fully furnished offices were introduced in 2021, giving businesses the opportunity to rent offices on a short-term basis of up to six months.

A new hybrid office scheme is soon to be launched at Friar Gate Studios for businesses who want to combine the flexibility of remote working with having an office base.

Businesses will be able to occupy a hybrid office for up to three days a week, with another business occupying the space on the remaining days. They will occupy the same office on the same days each week.

Commenting on its success so far this year, Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, said:

“To see such growth across the Connect Derby portfolio is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the quality of our offer.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve introduced a number of new, flexible ways of working to support businesses as they navigate the new world of work, the cost-of-living crisis, and rocketing energy bills.

“Our diverse workspaces and the flexible packages we offer mean that all types of business can join us, regardless of their size.

“We will continue to innovate as we help businesses face the new challenges presented by the evolving nature of the world of work.”

Connect Derby Supports International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day today and here at Connect Derby we’re celebrating the fantastic work done by our 95% strong female team.

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, leads a diverse team including women from a range of backgrounds, particularly those of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin.

Ann and her team work to promote inclusion, improving female representation in businesses and supporting the next generation of female leaders!

Female-led companies continue to attract a small fraction of the investment achieved by their male-led counterparts – Connect Derby works to signpost female entrepreneurs to grants and funding through D2N2 and its Partners.

Connect Derby offers a range of employment opportunities for women in Derby and is one of few organisations in the city whose senior management team is predominantly made up of females.