A flagship enterprise centre supported by Centre West has proved a huge success, with over 95% of its business units now occupied.
, which was developed in partnership with Groundwork
(South Tyneside and Newcastle), opened in 2012 after a £6.5m redevelopment of the former Westgate Road fire station site.
Already it has proved a springboard for local businesses, with a recruitment firm, an art collective, an Indian fashion house, a make-up artist, and even a radio station now calling it home. Flexible business spaces, special artisan units and expert business support are a major draw for growing businesses, while bigger players like the NHS and engineering giant Siemens make regular use of the 400-capacity Skylight Suite for conferences and events.
Bruce Trotter, Partnership Director of Centre West, said: “The Beacon’s appeal to local business is just one part of its success. It was designed to be a flexible facility and venue for the community and I’m pleased to say that it is being well used by local people.
“The past two years have shown how important it is to invest in enterprise and business centres like The Beacon. It’s a great example of what can be achieved with foresight and ambition.”
The eco-friendly building also offers a stylish bistro, a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and hair and beauty salon, both of which can be hired for training purposes.
Andrew Watts, Executive Director of Groundwork, said: “The Beacon is a tremendously important centre on many levels. Its success shows how well it is fulfilling a very important role for North East businesses who want to be part of a dynamic yet affordable place to grow. But it’s not just the superb facilities that make them come here, for they also receive incredible back-up and support from our staff.”
The Beacon, which benefited from a £2.42M ERDF investment, was opened officially in April 2012 by the Duke of Kent.