The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, joined Sir Rod Aldridge, Chair of the Aldridge Foundation, and local business and community leaders at the launch of the Aldridge Foundation’s latest Creates Business Centre, at UTC@MediaCityUK in Salford today (November 27th).
Aldridge Creates at UTC@MediaCityUK is a unique business centre in MediaCityUK located within the same building as the University Technical College, which provides 14-18 year-old students an education specialising in the technical skills required for the Creative and Digital industries. The UTC offers pathways in TV & Film, Interactive Media and Graphics, Radio & Audio, or Interactive Media & Gaming.
As well as a physical space for local start-ups, small growth and student-led businesses, Aldridge Creates centres provide services and support for these young businesses. Education charity the Aldridge Foundation has supported the development of Creates Centres in the North West at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy and in London within Kensington Aldridge Academy, linking business and education within their communities.
Sir Rod Aldridge said: “Having Creates at the heart of the UTC will enable a transfer of knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity that cannot be found anywhere else. It really is different. UTC also has world class facilities that are available for use by the Aldridge Creates Members.”
“We will provide very affordable office space to Creates members, to enable more entrepreneurial individuals locally and students to start up or grow their businesses where they might not otherwise have the means. Student-led businesses have a safe and supported space in which to start their commercial or social enterprises. The commitment that we ask in return from all Creates businesses is that they contribute to the Creates community by acting as mentors and colleagues to their peers, and by engaging with the student population of the UTC on a regular basis.”
“This simple arrangement enables local businesses to start, grow and flourish by having the space they need in order to take the next steps, but also gain access to the most creative and uninhibited thinking minds of our students. Students gain the benefit of being exposed to real businesses, their challenges and successes.”
Andy Burnham said: “This is a great initiative to help show young people across the North that starting their own business in Greater Manchester is a real option for them.”
“We want Greater Manchester to be a place that nurtures young talent, where everyone can have access to the best support and advice when thinking about setting up and running their own business. I hope that this new centre, in the heart of MediaCityUK, can help transform the prospects and lives of young people throughout our city-region.”
The Creates space in UTC@MediaCityUK has been formed in partnership with the GC Business Growth Hub and benefits from a specialist business advisor operating from the Creates space two days a week.
Janine Smith, Head of Specialist Services at the GC Business Growth Hub said:
“Aldridge Creates in UTC@MediaCityUK presents a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. We’re delighted to be providing access to a specialist business advisor at this space, which will ensure that the local and student-led enterprises have ready access to expertise on successfully scaling up their business, as well as providing valuable links into the wider growth networks in the local area”.
The Aldridge Creates Business Centre is situated at the front of the college building, with fantastic views of MediaCityUK. Businesses enjoy the privacy of their own working environment, whilst the students benefit from seeing real businesses day in and day out.
The space consists of three private, fully equipped office ‘pods’, and breakout space around them. For applications to join the Aldridge Creates Business Centre to be successful there must be a commitment by them to give back to the Creates community and the UTC with a small portion of their time and expertise. In return, the businesses can gain access to the GC Business Growth Hub’s advisor and a national network of Creates communities to support the development and growth of their business.
Private office Pods are available starting at as little as £210pcm and are aimed at both new businesses and established businesses that need office space. Smaller spaces and hot desks are available at lower costs. Full details are online at www.utcmediacityuk.org.uk/aldridge-creates.