McGuinness launches Creative Hub in Ebrington

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and acting First Minister, Arlene Foster officially opened the Creative Hub at Ebrington on Friday.

Known as ‘Eighty81’ and managed by Blick Studios, the Hub houses 16 companies, employing 41 people across a wide range of creative industries.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. McGuinness said: “The opening of this creative hub resulting in over 40 jobs and plans for another 60 on the site within 2015/16 sends out a clear signal we are not only open for business but ‘pro-business’.

“Ebrington has reconnected the site with the city and offers a platform for social, economic and cultural regeneration. Blick Studios and the tenants of ‘Eighty81’ have grasped this opportunity and we thank them for their commitment and wish them every success for the future.

“The £2.4m capital budget to be spent on the site in 2015/16 will provide further impetus and help drive forward and develop Ebrington. Together we can regenerate and revitalise Ebrington bringing much needed economic benefits to the entire North West,” added Mr. McGuinness.

Philip Flynn, Ilex’s Chair added: “I congratulate Blick Studios and welcome the tenants of ‘Eighty81’ to Ebrington. The creation of 41 jobs to date across the 16 tenant companies is very encouraging, particularly as the Hub provides such a flexible work space suited to the creative industries.

“This launch is very significant for the development of the 26-acre site which is seeing significant progress this year. The Walled City Brewery opened in May, Eighty81 in July and Café Ollie will open in late November. We are in discussion with six other companies who are interested in a further seven buildings and in early 2016 we will seek formal expressions of interest in a hotel development. All of these plans will be facilitated by outline planning permission which we expect to be announced in the coming weeks,” added Mr. Flynn.

Christine James, Blick Studios said: “The transformation of two late Victorian buildings into a state-of-the-art, flexible work space has made Buildings 80/81 a very attractive proposition for small businesses.

“Blick provides affordable shared workspace for small and start up creative and digital businesses and, as a creative industry environment, ‘Eighty81’ is second to none. When we sought expressions of interest from potential tenants, it was an easy sell and demand outstripped supply. I am pleased to say that we are operating almost at full capacity and are in negotiation with one final tenant.”

For information about buildings and investment opportunities at Ebrington go to #YourEbrington