Connect Derby paves the way for new and emerging businesses across the city
The news that Derby is a top city for millennial start-ups, provides the best value for graduates and boasts the highest salaries outside of London, comes as no surprise to the team at Connect Derby, the city’s leading provider of managed workspaces.
Now in its fifth year of operation, Derby City Council’s Connect Derby scheme has single-handedly breathed life into Derby’s office market, creating seven diverse business centres across the city, four of which are situated in the Cathedral Quarter: Friar Gate Studios, Kings Chambers, Sadler Bridge Studios and Riverside Chambers.
The unique Connect Derby scheme provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SME’s with the working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to enable their businesses to grow. The project also promotes job creation by increasing inward investment to the city.
The scheme has been a great success with new and emerging businesses who have taken advantage of the flexible lease terms at the seven buildings and the practical support available to help start-ups move up the business ladder.
Over the past 12 months, 37 new businesses have joined the Connect Derby family, with Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, and her team also supporting the establishment of 17 new enterprises.
Occupancy levels now exceed 83%, with 198 businesses based at the seven Connect Derby workspaces.
Designed to create an environment where people can meet, collaborate, cross sell and share knowledge, Connect Derby offers a mutually supportive community from which businesses can flourish and thrive.
Businesses in any of the Connect buildings receive a package of help and support. This includes business development, mentoring and coaching opportunities and a programme of events aimed at sharing skills and encouraging collaboration.
Over the past 12 months, more than 281 SMEs across the professional services, creative industries and technology sectors have received business support.
Commenting on the latest figures, Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, said:
“Connect Derby aims to provide high quality workspaces that enable enterprises to create new job opportunities for local people and to provide business support that will improve business survival rates and act as a catalyst for growth.
“In the last financial year, Connect Derby businesses have seen an average increase of 38% in their annual turnover, with the average turnover of our businesses increasing from £79m to £188m, which is a tremendous achievement.
“During the same period, 121 new jobs were created by Connect Derby businesses and a further 343 existing jobs were safeguarded.
"Derby continues to be the UK's number one tech city, with 12% of its workforce employed in the hi-tech industry. This is four times the national average and double that of other hi-tech cities.
“Connect Derby businesses employ 188 graduates between them of which 21% graduated from the University of Derby. We will continue to pave the way for new and emerging businesses across the city."
Friar Gate Studios, the headquarters of the Connect Derby managed workspace scheme