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Harrison Gibson developer’s plan for start-up hub ‘absolutely fantastic’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 July 2016

Harrison Gibson in the High road

Harrison Gibson in the High road

Archant

Plans to build a large co-working space for start-ups in Ilford town centre have been hailed as “fantastic” by local business leaders.

The Lumina group is consulting on proposals to redevelop the old Harrison Gibson building in the High Road.

Within the 30-storey tower there was initially space marked out for a cinema complex, but that was scrapped in favour of business space following talks with the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce.

Chairman Geoff Hill explained: “We have had two meetings with Lumina, and we said one of things Redbridge is really short of is accessible space, with opportunities for small businesses to talk to each other.”

The developer’s plans state: “The intention is to deliver incubator space to help business start-ups and entrepreneurs who in their infancy may only want to hire desk space.”

It adds there could be up to 150 desks.

Mr Hill praised Lumina for listening to the community.

“It is a first as far as I’m aware of,” he said. “We need more people coming into the borough to talk to people here, who know what Redbridge needs.”

Ros Southern, of Seven Kings start-up Sophia Hubs, described the plans as “absolutely fantastic”.

She said: “It will be brilliant for businesses who are up and running and are not able to take up their own office space.”

She pointed out that the Enterprise Desk, in Redbridge Central Library, which performs a similar function, is beginning to fill up.

“It’s good that the developers consulted with people and I hope they do so when setting up the space.”


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