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CSpace boosting business growth in Newquay
A former backpacker hostel on Newquay’s seafront has been transformed into a multi-use workspace with funding from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
CSpace opened its doors in September following a £2 million LEP investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and is already helping local businesses start-up, innovate and grow.
CSpace is a collaboration between Newquay-based Crowdfunder, the UK’s top crowdfunding platform which has based its 30 staff in the building, and the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), which manages creative, multi-use co-work spaces and supports social enterprise.
The opening of CSpace has been welcomed by Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP, who said: “I am delighted that an unused space in Newquay has been transformed into a creative, innovative hub for the local business community.
“With help from a £2 million Local Growth Fund investment, CSpace will support businesses, create jobs and attract inward investment to the area.
“This is an important example of how we're helping our coastal communities to flourish as great places to live, work and visit.”
Lindsey Hall, CEO of RIO, said: “The LEP support that we received has been invaluable to allow us to get the initial stages of the conversion completed and CSpace open for use. Our idea for CSpace was a totally new business model for Cornwall so it was fantastic that the LEP understood our vision and what we wanted to achieve and have supported us to bring that idea to fruition.
“We feel that Newquay is an important place to be and it is part of our mission to create interesting, creative, enterprising spaces to help galvanise energy and support people with their business ambitions. This investment allows us to do that.”
Lindsey said CSpace welcomes permanent tenants and start-ups as well as offering incubation space for fledgling businesses, and there are plans to hold social events and offer delicious Cornish food and drink to visitors. CSpace has also become an important means of working with young people in Newquay hit by the impact of Covid-19.
“The repercussions of the pandemic have seen a large number of young people become unemployed and we want to support them to be engaged and motivated with the job market,” she said. “CSpace is a melting pot of interesting businesspeople who are keen to share their experience with young people and hopefully inspire them with their own enterprises.”
LEP Chief Executive Glenn Caplin-Grey, said: “The working landscape has changed dramatically since the Covid-19 outbreak and now more than ever it is vital to offer flexible, dynamic work spaces to support people as they adapt their working habits, change their business models and start their own enterprises. There is nothing quite like CSpace in Cornwall and we look forward to it being a collaborative hub where new ideas, businesses and quality jobs can be forged.”
As a shared work, event and social space for business and the wider community, CSpace will also allow new businesses to rub shoulders with established firms and major brands, including national Crowdfunder clients like Virgin, Nat West and M&S, who will be encouraged to use the space. A fully equipped studio will be used for online training, webinars and project broadcasts.
Rob Love, CEO and founder of Crowdfunder, said: “CSpace gives us an opportunity to bring a variety of pioneering and creative Cornish industries together to be a centre for economic activity and a place where people can come, have something to eat and drink and talk about all the great things going on in the county.”
The LEP’s investment comes from a £78m Local Growth Fund allocation secured from the Government in recent years.
More recently, the LEP successfully bid for £14m from the Government’s Getting Building Fund to deliver £59m of projects across Cornwall, supporting 1,100 jobs over the next 18 months as part of Covid-19 economic recovery efforts.
For more information about CSpace and the flexible options available visit https://realideas.org/our-spaces/
CSpace case study: Emma Gunn and her business, Trillium
A plant enthusiast who was hit by redundancy due to Covid-19 has been putting down roots with a new job and business based at CSpace.
Emma Gunn launched indoor plant business Trillium following lockdown and has recently taken on the role of plant specialist to care for all the indoor flora at CSpace.
She said: “During lockdown I really missed having plants around me so after taking redundancy I began selling plants from home and it went really well. But when I saw that CSpace needed someone to look after their plants and the opportunity to use the space for my own business, I jumped at the chance.
“I am thrilled to be based at CSpace, it is such a new exciting place and RIO has been so supportive as I get to grips with launching my own business and the Crowdfunder team has helped me tap into further funding. They have some fantastic ideas for the development of CSpace and they want to include Trillium within that.”
Emma launched Trillium, named after the floral emblem of Ontario, where she was born, after a lifetime of botanical interests sparked by a plot of soil her father gave her to tend when she was just four.
She decided to start her own company after being made redundant this year from her role as Seasonal Displays Supervisor at the Eden Project as part of a round of redundancies caused by the impact of Covid-19. She had worked at Eden since 1998, taking on a number of roles including draughtsman, guide, plant propagator, show garden designer and florist.
And now she is using her years of knowledge and passion for plants to grow her own company with the support of RIO and Crowdfunder.
Emma said: “The need people have for ‘greening’ up their houses has increased dramatically during lockdown, especially for people who had no green spaces to escape to in the early stages. So it was fortunate timing to begin working at CSpace.
“Each week more and more businesses are joining us here and being able to watch the growth of CSpace while they support others with their business dreams is fantastic.”
For more information about Trillium, visit trillium_cornwall and emmatheforager on Instagram. A website for the company is coming soon at www.trilliumcornwall.co.uk and Emma is also launching her own Crowdfunder page to gain support for the growth of the business.