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Business incubation hub at historic Carriage Works opens next week

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Adam Taylor from Breathing Building hands keys to Workshed centre manager Jol Rose, supported by Keziah Hitchens from Wiltshire CouncilAdam Taylor from Breathing Building hands keys to Workshed centre manager Jol Rose, supported by Keziah Hitchens from Wiltshire CouncilA business incubation hub offering affordable space for dynamic start-ups and fast-growth businesses opens its doors next week.

The Workshed, part of the £4m refurbishment of the Carriage Works in Swindon's heritage quarter, will open on Friday, June 1.

150 co-working spaces have been created, and are aimed particularly at businesses involved in innovation or 'disruptive technologies' within the science, technology, research & development, and digital arts sectors.

Centre manager Jol Rose said he wanted to create a vibrant business community where people can network, inspire each other, learn and grow their businesses at an accelerated rate.

“Brunel was a major innovator 200 years ago with his engineering triumphs of trains, tunnels, bridges and ships," said Jol.

"The Workshed brings innovation right back to the heart of Swindon! Inventors face so many disappointments before they get their breakthroughs.

"Think of Edison’s thousand attempts at creating the light bulb. Our vision is to nurture business owners and help them thrive in a supportive atmosphere.”

The Workshed places high-spec services in a 7,000 sq ft industrial heritage building, office space, meeting rooms and conference facilities.

The business centre is owned by Swindon Borough Council and managed by The Enterprise Network, a Wiltshire Council initiative. A second unit, currently undergoing similar refurbishment, will create another 6,000 sq ft of office space.

Cllr David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “The Carriage Works is a really exciting project and I am delighted to welcome The Enterprise Network on board as we have already attracted a lot of interest from businesses across Swindon, Wiltshire and further afield.

“The Council is making a significant investment in bringing these historical buildings back to life and creating a thriving hub for business and cultural uses.

"We already have some businesses ready to move in and with the Carriage Works’ close proximity to the railway station, I’m sure it will be an attractive option for many firms.”