Bracknell Forest Council has just leased the former council office building, Easthampstead House, to The Bracknell Project Ltd, a company that will provide space to help more than 35 fledgling businesses grow.
Starting in January 2019, the building will be re-animated and space will be offered to local emerging and niche small businesses.
The Bracknell Project Ltd is part of This is Projekt Ltd group (projekt), an innovator in providing affordable studio and office space for creative and artistic businesses as well as other small and medium sized businesses.
projekt is expanding outside London and Easthampstead House is its first new site in this expansion, with space to create more than 100 jobs. As well as studio and work space, the building will include a small café for businesses and their customers and a communal space for artistic and cultural events.
projekt will curate the occupiers to prioritise local companies and local people and to develop a vibrant mix of uses and occupiers to create a cultural and entrepreneurial hub.
The council originally intended to demolish the building while exploring long-term options for the site but by working with projekt it enables a meanwhile use to reanimate the building and help the local economy while that long-term planning work is carried out.
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said:
"I'm delighted that we've been able to find an alternative use for Easthampstead House; I'm even more pleased that it will bring more than 100 additional jobs to the town centre and will help lots of small and upcoming businesses find their feet.
"We're still looking at what that area could become in the future as part of the holistic regeneration of Bracknell town centre but in the meantime this is a real win for our town and local economy."
Nick Hartwright, CEO of projekt, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting project and a perfect example of how modern regeneration should be carried out. We’re going to engage with existing and new Bracknell entrepreneurs and creative businesses and we’re going to bring new enterprises to the area. Everyone will benefit, and together, I’m sure we’ll create a real buzz and nurture some great new business.”
Easthampstead House with projekt will strengthen what is on offer to emerging businesses in an important town centre location.
It will complement the support already on offer to start-ups in Bracknell Forest, including the work by providers such as Regus in the Western Business Area of Bracknell, the Enterprise and Innovation Hub in Ocean House and other office buildings that offer flexible start-up space such as the Lightbox in the Southern business area, among others.
Additionally, the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Hub, a fully funded, impartial business support service for entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses is conveniently located in Ocean House. The council recognises that space for start-ups, whatever the industry, is important and provides the vital first step on the business ladder for many companies
The lease has been agreed for a five year period with projekt.
Easthampstead House is a 1960s office block that was home to a number of Bracknell Forest Council staff until April 2018. All staff from that building were successfully relocated to Time Square, reducing the council's main office costs by around £400,000 per annum.
Anyone interested in a space at Easthampstead House should contact firstname.lastname@example.org