Starting Up in One of the UK’s Most Entrepreneurial Cities
From grant funding to prime office space and an abundance of business networks, we share our thoughts on why Peterborough is the perfect place to kickstart your new business.
As one of the UK’s leading cities for start-ups, Peterborough has an incredible amount going for it. It was the UK’s first Gigabit City under the Government’s £5bn programme, it’s home to the new Anglia Ruskin University, which will have its first student intake this September, and it boasts great connectivity, with faster and more frequent rail connections to London on the horizon through the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade. This amazing city works hard to realise its potential but much of its success is down to the entrepreneurs that make this their home.
One of the most exciting things about Peterborough is the diversity of the industries that make up its economy, from advanced engineering to environmental services to creative and digital. It is a vibrant city, and one that offers everything new and established businesses need to succeed.
At FI Real Estate Management, we are fortunate to meet some of the businesses that thrive in Peterborough, many of which have become tenants either at our flagship campus office development at Lynch Wood Park - a 350,000 sq ft campus of premium office space - and Northminster House 50,440 sq ft modern office building in the heart of the city. Our priority is providing a variety of office spaces to cater to all businesses, no matter their size or way of working. At both Lynch Wood Park and Northminster House, we offer space from one desk upwards and we will soon be launching FigFlex at Lynch Wood Park, our flexible offering that is perfect for all start-ups, entrepreneurs and established businesses.
Grant funding for business start-ups
Undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of new small to medium businesses in Peterborough rose by 310 to 7,660 during 2020 and 2021, making this one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the UK. But as many know, you need much more than an enterprising concept and determination to make a business work. Businesses need finance.
The good news here is that there are many finance options for business start-ups that provide capital to start, develop and grow a business, many also coming complete with mentoring and training to help businesses get off the ground. There are a number of charities that offer low interest loans specifically for start-ups, including The Prince’s Trust and Fredericks Foundation. Funding can also be accessed through UKRI, the UK’s innovation agency, which also provides practical help and support with getting businesses pitch-ready.
The perfect office space for entrepreneurs
Choosing a space is a really exciting step in any business venture, and that’s as true for those relocating, expanding or starting out. There are a lot of things to consider but creating a wish list is all part of the fun. What impression do you want to give your customers? Would you favour the bright lights and immediate connectivity of the city or a more rural setting in the suburbs? Do you take a smaller space or opt for some extra capacity for future expansion? The great thing about Peterborough is that it caters to all; it is a city where business thrives and so it has become very good at providing what businesses need.
That said, demand does put some pressure on supply, particularly where small businesses are concerned. We’re keen to ensure that our investment in commercial space in Peterborough helps to bridge that gap. At Lynch Wood Park, we have a unique office campus set within landscaped grounds. The beauty of Lynch Wood Park is that it offers space in a variety of sizes for long-term lease or flexible offices that can be hired for just a day. We know that business needs vary, and in order to succeed they need to have variety to choose from when it comes to their office space.
A city dedicated to success
Of course, a business is only as successful as its people and as such, skills are high on the agenda in Peterborough. A big focus of the Peterborough DNA: Future Cities Programme is on driving the development of local skills to meet the city’s business needs and growth ambitions. The programme also helps businesses to work collaboratively to operate in more sustainable ways and encourages innovation and entrepreneurial activity through the Brainwave Innovation Portal.
There are some fantastic services and networks that are dedicated to supporting businesses in Peterborough, including those provided by the Peterborough and Stamford Chamber of Commerce and Peterborough City Council. On top of this, Opportunity Peterborough and Business Network Peterborough work to boost the city’s economy, attract inward investment and connect businesses to a wide range of services that provide a platform for success. There is an abundance of support for new and growing businesses in Peterborough, making this city the perfect place to locate your start-up.