Peabody Trust offers up help for design start-ups

London housing association and regeneration agency the Peabody Trust is targeting embryonic design groups with the launch of a complete business start-up package, aimed at “taking the headache out of starting your own business”. The venture is costing more than £14m in total.

Eligible businesses will include those that have been operating for less than a year, as well as those which are about to begin trading.

“On offer are high quality premises in areas with excellent transport and communications links, plus a comprehensive business advice service,” says Peabody Trust director of development Dickon Robinson.

Three state-of-the-art premises are earmarked in East London, including the trust’s landmark CZWG-designed work-live units in Westferry, London Docklands. The other offices are the Thames Gateway Technology Centre’s 28 incubator units at the University of East London’s new London Docklands campus, and the East London Centre in Stratford – over 70 units available in all.

Business advice will be supplied by the East London Small Business Centre, London East Training and Enterprise Council and Business Link London East.

Business liaison co-ordinator Razak Grady hopes neighbouring businesses will also provide informal support. “The aim is to create communities of like-minded businesses whose success will contribute to the economic regeneration of the area as a whole,” he adds.

East London design consultancy Sponge is one prospective tenant of the Business Offices. Sponge director Matt Miles says: “The design of the units and technology available, such as plasma screens, is perfect for us when presenting to clients. The location, with its excellent communication links, is ideal as well.”

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