Barely has North Devon’s new enterprise hub opened than plans have begun to develop its second phase.
Node, located off the A39 at Roundswell, was officially opened in October by Leader of Devon County Council Councillor John Hart. The event was attended by council leaders, funding partners, founding organisations and entrepreneurs already based at the hub.
Gareth Jones, founder and chief executive of Town Square, the company operating Node, announced that occupancy was already above target – at more than 68% and increasing – and that it attracted more than 100 daily users.
Town Square already operates successful enterprise hubs in Wales, Oxfordshire, West Sussex, Cheshire and London, and will use this experience to make sure all the value generated by Node remains in North Devon.
Facilities and technology
Phase 1 of Node offers 37 small and medium offices, a coworking space for up to 50 people, meeting rooms and an on-site coffee shop.
Broadband internet connectivity of up to 1Gbps is available to users, dependent on the level of membership, which ranges from £20 & VAT for a day pass up to £249 & VAT per month for pro membership. Rates for teams, which include 24-hour access seven days a week, are also available.
On declaring the hub officially open, Councillor John Hart said: “The Node enterprise centre is an extremely impressive facility and it’s had an incredible start. Everyone involved must be congratulated for getting it up and running and for letting 64% of its office space after just eight months. That’s already ahead of its two-year target and highlights the importance of this site to the county’s economic recovery and growth.
“The building itself has also been designed and built to be energy efficient to help us with our carbon reduction targets, and it’s achieved a 25% reduction in carbon emissions compared to Building Regulations standards. The County Council has shown its faith in this project by investing in a second phase expansion of the enterprise centre, which we’re aiming to open by 2023. This will enable the centre to support even more SMEs and startups in North Devon and Torridge as we look to build back an even stronger and more resilient local economy.”
User case studies
To demonstrate how Node is already supporting new and growing businesses, speakers from two businesses already occupying Node spoke about their experiences of working in the new hub.
Claire Snow launched Snow Limits Consulting in March this year and is based at Node five days a week – read more about Snow Limits Consulting.
Ryan Jewell launched Integy with business partner James Cook in November 2019. The business was the first occupant and has outgrown offices twice as its team has grown to 10 – read more about Integy.
Node community manager Julian Dymond introduced several programmes that will be running.
To support new businesses, Node will be running regular startup clubs to provide help and advice for anyone starting or thinking about starting up on their own.
The eight-week programme guides business owners through a different aspect of running a business each week, including:
- idea generation and mindset
- social media marketing and platforms
- pitching and presentation skills
- business models
- content marketing
- marketing questions answered
- balancing books and managing money
- building awesome web sites
Running throughout the year, startup clubs are accessible online and in person at Node once per week after work, 6-8pm every Thursday. For details and to book, visit nodecowork.co.uk.
Julian also announced a fully-funded three-month business accelerator programme for ambitious enterprises that will launch early in 2022. Contact the Node for more details.
Open to all businesses
Whether a business is looking for a permanent base, regular hot desking or occasional office facilities, Node’s flexible memberships make it accessible to all businesses. Meeting rooms can also be booked for meetings and events.
As a member of the Town Square network of hubs, businesses joining Node also join this network, gaining access to workspaces in towns and cities across the UK and opportunities to connect with more like-minded businesses.
Node has been developed by Devon County Council and is part-funded by the council, the European Regional Development Fund and Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to support enterprise across North Devon and Torridge.