A £1.7m commercial and residential project in Salford is fully occupied less than a year after completion.
Spark Studio, in Broughton, offers two floors of offices and eight apartments. The grade II-listed Georgian building was formerly the Presidential Hotel and was derelict for several years. It was bought by developers Godliman & Watson which renovated the building in partnership with Contour Homes, part of Symphony Housing Group, along with Salford City Council and Salford University. The Homes & Communities Agency supported the project with a grant of £420,000. Spark Studios opened in January 2012.
The latest tenant is James Lyons, who runs events planning business Plan Event Management. He said: "Being a live-work tenant at Spark Studio has been essential to the success of Plan Event Management. The infrastructure in place has obviously been well thought through, meaning the support team in and associated with the building – Contour Homes, University of Salford and The Business Group – are perfectly poised to help new entrepreneurs develop their ideas successfully."
So far, Spark Studio has welcomed web companies, recruitment agencies, an HR firm and photographers. Tenants can rent a one-bedroomed apartment, as well as their office space for up to three years.
Spark Studios has two floors of offices and eight self-contained apartments, which have all been rented out.
The project expects to house 13 new start-ups every three years over a 27-year lease period, creating more than 400 jobs in the process.