December 2020


1 Mill Street will provide perfect base for creative start ups

Ten new businesses will benefit from a new Creative Futures Accelerator Programme in Leamington Spa’s Creative District.

The project, which will also work with 500 innovators, will help business teams develop their entrepreneurial skills and test, launch and pitch their business ideas. They will also get six months of free space and support at brand new, state-of-the-art offices in Mill Street, Leamington Spa, to develop their enterprises.

The scheme is supported by the University of Warwick, 1 Mill Street, BT and Warwickshire County Council to hone the next generation of regional entrepreneurs and innovators as part of the University of th Creative Futures Incubator initiative.

Warwickshire County Council is sponsoring the Creative Futures programme which is being delivered on campus and from 1 Mill Street.

Over the next 12 months initially ten new businesses, selected by the University of Warwick, will have access to the new offices, meeting spaces and collaboration networks at 1 Mill Street. Each business will be given six months free access to work with the University to develop their business. Each will benefit from the transformation of the 12,000 sq ft Victorian building into a modern creative enterprise hub, incorporating flexible offices, dedicated desks and hot-desking, a video and sound studio, The Muse Coffeehouse, meeting areas and events space.

The businesses in the Creative Futures Incubator will also have access to the 5G network, from BT Group. BT recently switched on its 5G network on the university campus and surrounding areas, as part of the innovation alliance between BT, University of Warwick and Warwickshire County Council to accelerate innovation and economic growth for local businesses.

Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for finance and property, Cllr Peter Butlin, said: "We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration and support the piloting of 5G infrastructure. It enhances the county's offer as a centre of cutting-edge technology which is key to attracting the inward investment that will drive our future economic growth.

"I'm particularly pleased to see the coverage extending to Silicon Spa area in Leamington. This will be a real boost to the cluster of gaming companies based there which make such a strong contribution to the county's economy and which are a major employer of young people, whose employment prospects have been hardest hit by the pandemic."

Rachel Davis, Director of Warwick Enterprise at the University of Warwick, said: “1 Mill Street offers a glimpse into the collaborative nature of the future working world, and the time these micro-businesses spend here will no doubt serve as a launchpad for them to grow their organisations further.

“Starting a business is challenging and practical experience is vital in the early stages, so learning from other businesses, which they will be doing on a near-daily basis at 1 Mill Street, combined with guidance and mentoring from university staff will stand these entrepreneurs in good stead for the future.”

“This is also the first time that the University of Warwick will have had a physical presence in the heart of Leamington, and we are really excited to be involved in developing a community at 1 Mill Street.

"This new presence is a fantastic addition to the Warwick Innovation District. A large, open innovation ecosystem, powered by the University of Warwick; the District enables collaboration, networking, innovation and business growth to occur with a physical footprint stretching from the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, through Leamington to Wellesbourne."


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