Allia officially open their Cambridge Guildhall centre. Mayor of Cambridge Councillor Mark Ashton cut the ribbon alongside David Broach director Allia Future Business Centres . Picture: Keith Heppell
New tenants are welcomed to work and collaborate in the historical building in the heart of the city.
Allia’s new Future Business Centre at Cambridge Guildhall was officially opened today. The Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Mark Ashton cut the ribbon, and together with the Mayoress, Barbara Ashton and other Cambridge City Council representatives, they toured the ground floor which forms the new impact business hub, to meet Allia staff and the new tenants proud to move into their new workspace in the iconic building.
The non-profit organisation is leasing the building from Cambridge City Council, in order to let workspace to start-ups, charities and enterprises. This creates a city centre innovation business community, with a dedicated reception, a range of private offices, a co-working suite and five meeting rooms available for external hire.
New tenants that were present to meet the City Council tour party and talk about their ventures included COFARM (a local agroecological community farm), Orca Scan (a barcode tracking app) and the Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture (CCISTC), University of Cambridge.
Joining the Mayor and Mayoress were Fiona Bryant, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development; Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation; Jemma Little, Economic Development Manager; Dave Prinsep, Head of Property Services; and Andy Wood, Facilities Manager
They also toured the community area within the centre, which will include a shop, a café and a large exhibition space for community art groups and networks, opening later in the autumn.
Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation, said: “Supporting businesses and the city centre economy are priorities for us and that’s why we have worked with Allia to set up this new business centre.
“Our goal is for the centre to become a valued hub for start-ups, charities and enterprises and we’re pleased to have Allia as partners given its experience and expertise in running similar centres elsewhere in the city.
“The Guildhall is well located for organisations looking for a city centre presence and I am sure the flexible, collaborative workspace will appeal to many.”
David Broach, Director of Future Business Centres, added: “We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress, together with other representatives from Cambridge City Council to officially open our new business centre today.
“We feel privileged to transform such an iconic building into one of our award-winning hubs for small local businesses and enterprises, and our new tenants have been excited to move in and start working from the city centre location.
“While the city centre is still recovering from the pandemic, we hope to breathe new life into the location and bring our own brand of positive impact to the heart of Cambridge”.
Allia has been creating impact in Cambridge for 23 years, as the organisation was formed in the city in 1999 – and over the years it has worked to support social enterprises, start-ups and local impact businesses so that they can thrive, grow and create more positive impact, as well as employment opportunities. It also opened another Future Business Centre in North Cambridge in recent weeks, on the site of its main centre on King’s Hedges Road, following the acquisition of the SmartLIFE Low Carbon centre from Cambridge Regional College last year. It also has centres on Norfolk Street supporting community organisations, as well as in Peterborough, plus an active Venture Support team working in London to support local businesses and impact ventures in Hackney and surrounding boroughs.
As the organisation continues to grow, it will strengthen its ecosystem of support for businesses that are creating a positive impact on the pressing challenges of the world, from local to global scale.