Business is Booming

The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge
The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge.

With the new year upon us it seems like the perfect time to look to our plans for helping Hebden Bridge’s growing business community in 2013. First off, the business units in The Town Hall have been a huge hit. We never expected so much demand and we’re extremely proud that 34 businesses now call The Town Hall home.  We’re delighted that we’ve been able to help so many small local business find a space they can collaborate, grow and flourish together.

North of Watford actors' agency call The Town Hall their home.
North of Watford professional actors' agency call The Town Hall their home.

Kreative Bomb, graphic designers.
Kreative Bomb is a graphic design business.

We’re now at the point we need to reflect on how we can use the building to its full potential and to do that we have to achieve a balance between what the community needs and how we can best help our business tenants thrive. We also need to keep our funding partners happy. The new part of The Town Hall that houses our business tenants was built with help of a £1.25m loan from Community Builders and ERDF. Part of our deal with them is that we need to stay focused on the best way of creating and retaining jobs and growing businesses in the Town Hall. It’s a balance that’s not always easy. It can mean changing how we use the building and changing how we accommodate people. For example, in order for a small local business to grow from 4 to 12 we’re moving the business lounge – the common room for members of our business associate scheme – to a different location.  The room is smaller but as we rarely have more than four people wanting to use the hot desking area at one time and with only two associates who use the area more than twice a week, we think we’ve got that balance about right.

Hebden bridge Arts Festival is based in The Town Hall and  they use the space in innovative ways.  This is a dance piece in the cafe.
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival is based in The Town Hall and use the space in innovative ways. This is a dance performance in the cafe.

Moving the room supports our ethos of developing the business community in Hebden Bridge and it not only allows a small local business to create jobs, it also frees up a business unit for one of the many on our waiting list. This gives us the opportunity to develop two new businesses in Hebden Bridge whilst still supporting the business associates in the same way.

The Marketing Lab are a local business in a period of rapid growth.
The Marketing Lab are a local business in a period of rapid growth.

For a low monthly cost, business associates will still have access to a package of facilities including preferential rates on room hire, bike store, invitations to popular business and networking events with others in building as well as hot-desks with access to mega fast broadband through our fibre optic connection.  We still think this is an excellent product. It is our aim to listen to the needs and requirements of the businesses and residents of the community and respond where we can when it’s appropriate.  We can’t please everyone all the time but in the end we’ll never shy from making a difficult decision if, overall, it’s the right thing to do.

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