Heralding launch of flagship business hub

New centre supports entrepreneurs and start-ups

Cllr Susan Adams, chairman of Stratford District Council, celebrated the opening of Venture House with Jonathan Browning, chairman of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Photo: Mark Williamson (V4/7/16/5)

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON’S new state-of-the-art business centre was officially launched this week with a vision to support and encourage new start-ups and entrepreneurs within the district.

Venture House, at Avenue Farm Industrial Estate, was officially opened by the chairman of Stratford District Council on Monday.

It has been made possible because of the £74.1million cash windfall received by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) from the government’s Local Growth fund.

Some £450,000 was allocated to Venture House, money that has been used to transform a redundant office building on the industrial estate into an important hub for local small businesses.

The centre is aimed at businesses in their early stages of development and, as such, has facilities focused on flexibility.

Altogether there is space for around 60 people to work at Venture House, either downstairs in an open plan area full of hot desks, or upstairs within six office rooms.

The whole building reflects an industrial chic style, with most fixtures unhidden.

Nancy Singleton, business enterprise and tourism manager at the district council, said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved here and we believe it is a flagship centre across the district for low-cost business provision.

“We are here to help businesses taking that first step but don’t want to commit to their own office space. They can start off using the hot desks and as they grow they can move into the office space upstairs if they need to.

“We have a number of business experts who regularly come to Venture House who can offer support and advice to people. One of the things that will particularly appeal to young businesses is our easy in, easy out terms and conditions.

“We allow businesses to work from here for around two years, we are really here to help them during this early stage of their development before they hopefully grow into their own premises.

“We offer a place where people can work with no distractions, where they don’t feel isolated, but also somewhere where like-minded people from all sorts of businesses can bounce ideas off one another. We want this to be a fun environment, we’re creating our own small business community.”

Local business, Omni Cyber Security, is already operating from Venture House and say the facilities are perfect for an operation of their size.

Phil Ridley from the company said: “We used to share an office in Solihull but we live locally so this is much better for us. Letting arrangements for a young business like ours can be expensive, there are lots of hidden costs, it’s nice to have everything included and not worry about whether we should turn the heating on or not.

“We have everything we need here and unlike other places in Stratford the internet is very good here, we have a very reliable connection and we’ve got tea! As a tenant of one of the upstairs offices we also have 24/7 access which is important for us because we do work out of hours.

“We are a growing business and this place is perfect for where we are now.” For more information visit www.venturehousestratford.co.uk