New creative hub to boost Leigh town centre
Local social enterprise, Leigh Works has secured £275,000 funding to renovate a building Leigh town centre that will bring in new business and workers.
Leigh Works, the popular coworking space located in the heart of Leigh, is set to open a brand new Creative Hub on Bradshawgate thanks to a successful funding from GMCVO’s social investment programme, Proper Good Investment. This investment along with private investment from locals will be used to renovate an existing property on Bradshawgate. The 6,000sqft space will offer creatives, entrepreneurs and growing businesses facilities to work, collaborate and innovate. With access to the latest, high-end tech and a supportive environment.
The new creative hub, located above Iceland on the high street, will upscale the existing offer of coworking space. Providing a wider range of resources and equipment to support the growing demand for flexible and adaptable workspaces. The space will offer state-of-the-art technology, high-speed internet, meeting rooms, workshops, labs, AV studios and much more, allowing individuals and businesses to work, collaborate and innovate in a comfortable and supportive environment.
The hub will have a positive impact on the local community by offering affordable workspace and support aimed at locals wanting to start or grow their own business and upskill. Through partnerships with schools and the college it will provide inspiration and experience for pupils and students. The development will also bring much-needed footfall to businesses located in the town centre.
Steven Tomlinson, Co-Founder of Leigh Works, says “We are delighted and grateful for the opportunity Proper Good Investment have given us to expand our offer of coworking space. The new Creative Hub will provide a unique and dynamic environment for creatives, entrepreneurs and growing businesses. We can’t wait to welcome new businesses and opportunities to our town.”
“This expansion marks a turning point for Leigh Works as we have grown from a collaboration of entrepreneurs, into a social enterprise with a mission to inspire the next generation of designers, engineers and creatives...”
“By providing affordable, flexible space along with advice and guidance we will retain and nurture the home-grown talent here in Leigh. Working with local schools and the college we will engage with young people and show them the opportunities available with careers in STEM subjects.”
Leigh Works was founded 4 years ago by a group of software developers who recognised the need for a professionally run creative space in the heart of Leigh. Since then, the private company has transformed into a social enterprise, with a focus on supporting start-ups and small businesses in the local community. The appointment of Leigh Means Business CIC as the oversight board reflects Leigh Works’ commitment to supporting local economic growth and social impact.
Les Thomas, Chairman of Leigh Means Business CIC, says “A big congratulations to all at Leigh Works, a quality successful bid delivered by local people. It has been a pleasure to work in an advisory capacity to bring a large co-working facility to our town. With 100+ workers on Bradshawgate it will provide significant footfall to the merchants trading on the high street. In addition, the emphasis will be on using local contractors to deliver the refurbishment and supply the new equipment. Hopefully the first of many new initiatives we are working on to give our town a future. Many thanks to GMVCO and the property landlord for their support.”
“We are delighted to have made this investment to support the development of a creative hub in Leigh’s town centre. Our aim in providing social investment is to strengthen communities and enhance culture by supporting organisations to deliver their work and social mission, so we’re thrilled we’re able to support Leigh Works in this way” Cat Chrimes - Head of Investments, GMCVO
The Proper Good Programme is being jointly funded by Big Society Capital and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. It is one of six programmes from across England that aim to support the growth of local social economies to help reduce poverty and inequality. Find out more here