A new, purpose-built hub for creative and digital businesses has welcomed several new companies to its fold. Vulcan Works, a £14m centre created by transforming a Grade II listed former ironworks factory in Northampton town centre, opened its doors in the Cultural Quarter in February and offers lettable office space, workshops, meeting rooms and co-working spaces.
Since February, it has seen a steady flow of enquiries, hosted an official launch party and played host to events by Google and The Marketing Meet Up.
Intrface, a digital product design and development agency, works with tech start-ups and product companies to build user experiences such as mobile apps and SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms. It chose Vulcan Works as a base after being attracted by the facilities and the idea of working within a community of digital businesses.
“We see Vulcan Works as a place to connect, grow and share with other like-minded businesses. We instantly fell in love with the office space too as it reflected our roots in design, with its polished concrete floors and clean, modern look. It’s also in the heart of Northampton with good links to London, where most of our clients are based. Vulcan Works will be the next hub where businesses flourish together and we want to be a part of it.”
“We design and build software to run timed online-only and live webcast auctions to a global audience. The location is great for our clients coming from London and Birmingham by train and works well for our local staff who are looking to meet other like-minded people on site. After two years of working remotely, the team are really enjoying having access to a shared space and their own dedicated office, all close to the great facilities that the Cultural Quarter brings, such as the Royal & Derngate, Northampton Museum and craft bars such as the Maule Collective and V&Bs. The nearby hotel is also very useful for our staff, who travel to us from Cardiff and Manchester.
“Vulcan Works gives us access to a flexible working space in a town centre location. This makes it easier to attract talent. We are hoping that, as Vulcan Works become more established, we will be able to grow a network of contacts based here that can help us with design, user experience and software development in a freelance or contract capacity.”
“I was working out of a rental office in Northampton but it wasn’t a very exciting or productive environment. After meeting with Vulcan Works and hearing about their vision for a collaborative space for creative industries to network and thrive, I knew I wanted to be involved! I’ve only been here a short while and I can’t tell you how much being in the space has benefited me. I’ve already met so many great people via the various networking events and socials they’ve put together and having the on-site business manager has really helped me get my head in gear towards treating my work as an actual business.”
This sentiment was echoed by Matt Goddard of MJ Goddard Design Consultancy. Matt was running his fashion design consultancy out of a home studio prior to moving into Vulcan Works and was attracted to the idea of working in ‘a concentrated central hub of businesses and individuals from the creative industry in one location’. He said:
“The building is great space to work from, I love the décor and the industrial heritage, also the location within the Cultural Quarter seems appropriate. The added benefit of the on-site business guidance is a unique and valuable asset.
“I work with suppliers, manufacturers, factories and agents, providing on-trend clothing collections for high street and fashion retailers. Having a work location away from home is a something that I find helps my focus and provides a more balanced lifestyle.”
The Wild Tribe, co-founded by Harriet Creedy Crockford and Jodie Mitchell, design and create interactive workshops and experiences using premium plant and nature-based materials and were one of the first businesses to move into Vulcan Works.
“We chose Vulcan Works as it had such a strong community ethos and we felt that we would be supported on our business journey by the team. Not only did the space lend itself to working within the community with its central location, it was also brilliantly designed with its modern but comfortable aesthetic, so we feel totally comfortable to wander the corridors in our slippers or pop on sparkles for a creative meeting! We are a part of a thriving community of creatives and are constantly networking, whether that is by the coffee machine or at the regular events. We have also been aided by Darren Smith, the business development manager, to connect with local institutions such as the council and have been busy with bookings since we moved in.”
“It is just wonderful to see a real buzz about the place as more and more creative and digital businesses move into Vulcan Works,” added centre manager Garrick Hurter. “We look forward to seeing our amazing community grow further as we progress through the year.”