Enterprise Court completely full
If there is ever a sure sign that the economy is recovering then look no further than Enterprise Court in Manvers, Rotherham.
Just two and a half years ago, this terrace of 14 modern self contained offices was looking very sad with only two of the offices occupied and had an air of depression about it.
Despite an aggressive marketing campaign at the time there were few enquiries as no one seemed to want space of this type and in this location.
Today every office is occupied with over 100 people working on site and with a demand for space which can no longer be satisfied.
The turning point was when The Freespace Foundation was established which is a business incubator specifically for start up and home based businesses who want to expand. The Freespace Foundation is a charity whose purpose is to assist in creating employment. They took over the various empty offices and let space free of charge for one year to qualifying businesses.
The space was provided rent and service charge free from the landlords. More importantly, the Council agreed to grant both the 80% mandatory and 20% discretionary Business Rates relief to the Charity. This enabled the space to be offered free of rent, rates and service charge.
Since it was established, The Freespace Foundation has assisted 32 small businesses, many of whom have moved on elsewhere but ten have established themselves permanently at Enterprise Court.
The activity generated by the occupiers of the incubation centre brought life back to the ailing centre and as a result interest picked up in the larger units and all empty space has now been let since the start of 2014. As a result the work of the Freespace Foundation in Manvers has come to an end as no more space is available.
It could almost be described as ‘an overnight success after two and a half years’.
The Charity worked closely with RiDO when setting up and running the centre and their support was invaluable in making the centre the success it now is.
A spokesman for RiDO said “Enterprise Court is a great example what can be achieved when the Council and the business work together. Our work with the Freespace Foundation has helped us find a new way to transform a previously unused and unloved office development into a hive of small business activity, creating jobs for local people and strengthening our economy by supporting the growth of new businesses.”