Woodend bucks the trend as occupancy hits 100%

Andrew Clay of the Woodend Creative Workspace.. 082804b
Andrew Clay of the Woodend Creative Workspace.. 082804b

While business parks across the country are struggling with occupancy rates Scarborough’s Woodend Creative Workspace reports all its officers are full.

The director Andrew Clay, and directors of the Creative Industries Centre Trust say they are delighted to announce that Woodend, “Scarborough’s central hub for culture and creativity”, is now 100 per cent occupied.

With the recent sign up of web designer Lee Brook, Woodend now boasts a full complement of creative businesses.

The centre, which sits in the corner of The Crescent, now provides a home to an array of creative services, from web design to architecture, and visual arts to dance.

Mr Clay said: “This is an important moment for the tenants and staff. We have always enjoyed high occupancy rates but to achieve the magic 100 per cent is an important milestone. We have the privilege of supporting a group of highly skilled creative professionals who contribute much to the local economy.”

More than 100 professionals now work at Woodend, which also supports more than 50 visual artists and crafts people.

In addition Woodend represents culture and creativity on the Yorkshire Coast Business Partnership and also recently completed some consultation work for the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Fiona Macfarlane, who works in social media and marketing said: “The great thing about Woodend is that any businesses can benefit from the range of services available here. We have some superb meeting spaces and our Virtual Office package is ideal for those who prefer working from home but require a supportive hub.”

Woodend Creative Workspace is the result of a £7 million transformation of Scarborough’s former Woodend Natural History Museum.

The development of the Grade Two listed former home of the Sitwell literary family created 32 workspaces, eight artists studios, a large business incubator space, and a gallery space to accommodate Crescent Arts.

Work on the main building began in summer 2006 and was expected to be completed by June 2007. But it was not handed over to the Creative Industries Trust until April 2008 following a catalogue of delays.

Hitches included Japanese knotweed being discovered on site, resulting in a three-month delay and a £112,000 bill forWoodend developers.

Pipistrelle bats, a protected species, were discovered roosting against the Sitwell Rooms, delaying demolition work, and a two-week stoppage was called due to the removal of stuffed animal heads, which contained asbestos and had been unearthed having been buried underground in the 1950s.