Creating spaces for community and growth

    Leeds Lounge

    At Bruntwood, we aim not just to give our customers an office, but provide them with an environment and community in which they can thrive.

    This sense of community is evident through the strong spaces within our buildings, our events and our people. It’s through these that customers can come together, surround themselves with like-minded, innovative people, network and collaborate.

    Creating a community and providing customers opportunities to connect, supports businesses to succeed. A marketing company based in one building may meet a tech business at a breakfast event and work with them on their next big campaign. Similarly a small start-up could find a like-minded design company to bring on board and help solidify their brand.

    Many customers take advantage of the available spaces to host their own events. One company utilising this opportunity is analysis-led digital design house, LightStart. Starting from a company of just two people, the team has already grown to eight in a short space of time and their events programme has increased too.

    “We run 95% of our events here [at Platform]. We like the feel that there is. The best part of the Bruntwood experience has been the ‘wow-factor’, everybody that we bring through the door just loves the space,” says Dan Akers, Co-founder of LightStart.

    All customers at Platform are welcome to attend the events it hosts, giving them the chance to form relationships within the building and in the wider Leeds community.

    This sense of community is something that can also be experienced across the other cities in which operate, for example at MSP’s Manchester Science Park campus. Manchester Science Partnerships will also launch a new tech incubator in spring. Located at Circle Square, in the heart of Manchester's innovation district, Manchester Digital will be just one of a number of businesses based there.

    Katie Gallagher, Managing Director at Manchester Digital, believes the community within Manchester is thriving thanks to the diversity and breadth of the companies that are here and the small innovators can survive alongside those large corporates.

    Speaking of the tech incubator, Katie said: “The opportunity that [the tech incubator] creates to pull research out of the universities, have a commercial operation and have some really bright, brilliant start-ups, all within that proximity, gives us a great opportunity to build some of our great digital and tech businesses of the future.”

    Bruntwood and MSP have always had a great relationship with Manchester Digital and it’s been fantastic to grow this partnership into what is today. “Bruntwood has always understood our mission and has always been supportive.”

    Manchester Digital uses the additional spaces within Neo, Manchester, to host seminars and socials. “We run some great events and get flexibility [from Bruntwood] so that we can do things when we need to do them. The staff really support us; they really get involved and care that what we’re doing works and that we’re happy,” says Katie.

    There is also a strong tech emphasis within our Platform building in Leeds, where NorthInvest has announced it will be basing its new Angel Investor Hub in collaboration with the UK Business Angels Association.

    It was this focus that triggered Light Start’s move to the building. “The reputation it had even before it was built was massive; we saw what was happening with the Northern Powerhouse funding to get a tech hub in Leeds. This is where a lot of the energy is and where the energy is growing,” says Dan.

    It was a similar story for Kwizzbit, an interactive digital quiz company, who recently made the move to Platform. “[Bruntwood] want to build a fantastic tech hub full of creative individuals: people that want to collaborate and innovate from the inside out, to put Leeds on the map,” says Mark Walsh, Founder and MD of Kwizzbit. “We have a great Platform, excuse the pun, to showcase what Leeds can do as a tech community.”

    The teams from LightStart, Manchester Digital and Kwizzbit, along with fellow customers Leaf and Cubic Motion, will be joining us at Prolific North Live on 28th February and 1st March. Catch us on stand 135, next to the keynote theatre.

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