BUSINESSES can now secure their places at a long-awaited creative centre which aims to attract companies and keep top graduates in the borough.
The Creative Business Centre, now being marketed as 37 Queen Street, opened its doors to potential tenants yesterday ahead of an expected full launch in the coming weeks.
The site will also be open for potential tenants today and Anna Harding, chief executive officer of operators Space, said she was hoping to make a success of the Colchester Council building which has previously been used as a police station and nightclub Chicagos.
She said: “We have been looking for a while for our first site out of London – studio space there is becoming more expensive.
“We are interested it what may develop in terms of a relationship between Colchester and London in terms of a production corridor.
“There is lots of space for showcasing in London and we want to see how that might benefit the businesses which are here in Colchester.”
More than 40 studios are available priced between £432 and £61 per month depending on the size and facilities included.
All businesses will have the use of ultra-high speed broadband which is being rolled out throughout the town centre while people needing somewhere to work on a semi-regular basis can rent desk space and have the chance to network with other workers in similar fields.
Special incubator studios have been set aside for use by people who have graduated from creative programmes within the last three years in a bid to attract and maintain the best start-up companies.
Mrs Harding added: “They are the smallest but obviously it means the smallest rent for new companies.
“We want to keep people who graduate in Colchester at Essex University and Colchester Institute in the town.
“The building is great and has the most amazing character.
“It is going to be fantastic when we have all of these spaces filled with creative people sharing such a great facility.”
The regeneration of the Queen Street area is set to continue with the new Curzon Cinema and the revamp of the old Keddies department store with a hotel and restaurant.
Mrs Harding said the improvements can only help the creative centre.
She said: “There are really great people working in Colchester’s culture sector which can only be a good thing for the town.”