Landmark Burnley, a digital co-working space at the former Burnley Grammar School, will officially open for business this week, following a seven-figure investment.
Landmark’s development has been led by Mark Crabtree, chairman of the Burnley Bondholders business group and founder of sound equipment producer AMS Neve. An open day will be held on Thursday to mark the official launch.
The first members are now moving into the development, which also houses conferencing space and meeting rooms. In total, the development comprises around 11,000 sq ft. A members’ lounge, with coffee and snacks available through the day, will open soon. The development has shower facilities and will have bike storage added.
David Walker, managing director of +24 Marketing and a co-investor with Crabtree, told Place that “all our facilities are premium – in addition to the amazing spaces for hire, we will also be attracting speakers from some of the biggest tech companies to inspire and motivate our members and the people of Lancashire”.
Ivy House Developments delivered the project, which was designed by Clitheroe architect Ivan Wilson following work by heritage architect David Morris of Growth Lancashire.
Crabtree said: “I would have loved to have had a space like this to come and work in when I first started out, especially with other like-minded people. Nobody wants to be laden with long leases on office space or huge rents when you first start out. You don’t always know if your ideas are going to work. You also need access to support and advice, a place to share ideas and chat things through over a coffee.
“It was the magic of the Bondholders at work again that started all this. Dave Walker said he wanted a place where like-minded businesses could be together. Things blossomed from there to a full-scale digital tech hub, and as a former Burnley Grammar School student, I felt an affinity, fell in love with the place really and bought it.”
Since work started, Crabtree and his team have been buoyed by a Tech Nation report that identified Burnley as being one of 16 “tech towns” in the UK that have a higher than average number of digital businesses.
The first meeting held at Landmark, in the Assembly Hall, has taken place, with the Burnley Bondholders addressed by headline speaker Alan Cross from the European Space Agency.
Landmark said that opportunities are being explored to share information and connections with the likes of The Landing at MediaCityUK. Digital Lancashire will have a base at the site, while there collaborations planned with UCLAN and neighbouring Burnley College.