Capital & Centric signs first tenant to Tempest

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

London-based business incubator Launch22 has taken 3,500 sq ft within Capital & Centric’s Tithebarn Street office in Liverpool, which is currently undergoing a £6m refurbishment.

The 40,000 sq ft building was acquired by Capital & Centric from Derwent Lodge Properties in April 2013 after being left derelict for a number of years.

A £2.4m grant from European Regional Development Fund part-funded the project, which is due to complete by the end of July.

Launch22 is a charity which provides start-up incubator support for young entrepreneurs.

Chief executive Eddie Holmes founded a pilot scheme in London’s Shoreditch in 2014, and is establishing the workspace in Liverpool to test the model before a national roll-out of the brand.

Around 70% of Launch22’s members pay a subsidised rate in order to fund free membership for entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds. Launch22 is also supported by a grant from young persons’ charity Catch 22.

As part of the Liverpool launch, Holmes plans to open the incubator free of charge for a number of weeks so local businesses can test the facilities.

Speaking to Place North West, Holmes said: “Liverpool has one of the lowest rates of participation in enterprise per capita, so we wanted to use our Catch 22 investment and our model in Liverpool to see if we can make it work. If it works in Liverpool it will work anywhere.

“We were attracted to Tempest because we wanted a bare shell, keeping the industrial feel to create a welcoming environment for young people.”

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “Our focus at Tempest is to make sure we create an unconventional workspace in a central location, as we want to attract the new and high growth businesses in new sectors.

“The letting to Lauch22 is testament to that, as it’s their first incubator outside London. Our strategy is to provide the grow-on space within Tempest too, creating a proper community within our building.”

Sustainability Inc is the contractor for the refurbishment, while the architect is SixTwo.

Keppie Massie and CBRE are the agents on Tempest. Quoting rent is around £13/sq ft.

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