£1.3 million loan for a creative companies hub

A business centre near Woking aims to become the South East’s ‘premier hub for creative companies’ through a £1.3 million loan from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Tannery Studios, based in the semi-rural village of Send, Surrey, provides custom-built office space designed for knowledge economy and creative start-ups, ranging from music producers through to computer game developers.

The loan will see obsolete industrial space refurbished and brought back to life as facilities for this growing sector.  Set within an easily accessible waterside rural location, Tannery Studios’ new facilities will make a perfect location for businesses keen to take advantage of reliable high-speed broadband and specialist facilities, including sound and video production studios and much more. 

The loan will help entrepreneurs, particularly those run by young people, get a head-start and there will be access to the support of SETsquared, the global number one university incubator. Over the next few years this investment will help create an estimated 400 new direct and indirect jobs, and in the process revitalise a former industrial site. 

George Hamburger, Director at Tannery Studios, said: “There has been a complete market failure to provide sound and video studios and facilities locally that the creative industries need.

“The Academy of Contemporary Music and University of Surrey are two examples of local institutions whose talented creative graduates often want to stay in the area, but due to the lack of a local facilities and a hub, we are losing many of these incredibly talented people to London.

“At Tannery Studios, with the help of LEP funding, we can pull a cluster of creative companies together. When you do that you get more than the sum of their parts. The creatives work together and create a collaborative atmosphere of open innovation.

“Tannery Studios’ long term vision is to be the premier hub for creative companies and to be recognised globally as a centre of excellence for creative innovation. The LEP money will develop the facilities by bringing companies together to create a critical mass."

Tannery Studios already accommodates 60 businesses, with more to come thanks to the loan from the Growing Enterprise Fund. 

The fund was established to help support economic growth, addressing infrastructure and site constraints that may impede development. It is important that the fund is sustainable and that funding will be recyclable, to enable future projects to be supported.

This is the second loan secured for the site through Enterprise M3 with infrastructure improvements partly funded by a loan in 2013.

Geoff French, Chairman of Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “The Tannery Studio proposal fits perfectly with both Enterprise M3 and Government priorities by creating an economically competitive area driven by innovation in science and technology, as well as supporting the growth of small and medium businesses. 

“The project offers considerable economic benefits for the area. There are few rural locations in the area offering this type of office accommodation, and only a handful in the region with the state-of-the-art video editing and sound studios offered here.

“This is a fantastic project which supports and retains young, talented people in the Enterprise M3 area and I am very excited to see how the project will develop over the coming months.” 

For more information on Tannery Studios and availability of specialist office space, please visit www.Tannerystudios.com

For details on how to apply for the Growing Enterprise Fund please visit the Enterprise M3 website or alternatively email  info@enterprisem3.org.uk or call us on 01962 846755.

Editor’s Notes

The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration between five leading research-intensive universities: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. 

Media Contact: Will Parsons, Enterprise M3 LEP Communications, 01730 234030  

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