Tower Works is Working

The historic Tower Works development in Leeds is now 80% let, less than a year after reopening as contemporary office space, having attracted a cluster of burgeoning creative and digital companies keen to locate close to the established new media and technology community to the south of the city centre.

The development, which officially opened in July 2012, is now home to 17 start-up and SME companies which have moved in to a range of spaces designed specifically for growing businesses from 1 to 20 people. The new lettings have all signed to flexible letting terms, a key component in attracting fast-growth businesses in the current climate.

New tenants include BAFTA-nominated computer game software developer and publisher, Double Eleven, which was founded by Lee Hutchinson and Matt Shepcar in 2010. The digital duo chose Tower Works as the location for the company’s second office, following the continued expansion of its award-winning team which has a flagship base in Middleborough. The directors previously worked as lead engineers at infamous games development company, Rockstar Leeds, part of the international Rockstar Games enterprise, and were attracted to the thriving digital scene in Leeds for their second office, and the opportunity to locate in the established creative corner of the city. Double Eleven’s 45-strong team, which includes 7 members of staff at the new Leeds office, works exclusively for the PlayStation Network.

Tower Works is also now home to digital design agency ‘Kaeto’, which launched in January 2012, and specialises in e-commerce websites, working on a number of high-profile clients including creating a new fashion website for London-based, high end fashion retailer, Browns Fashion. ‘SUM’, a consultancy company which offers project and cost management and dispute resolution advice to clients across a variety of sectors from retail and fashion to education, relocated 13-strong team to the development and ‘Shot by Sodium’, a film-making and photography company run by Rob Booker and Phil Barber, are due to move into their new office space next month.

Several independent entrepreneurs have also recently taken up space at the development including Ben Donnelly, who single-handedly runs the Leeds satellite office of ‘Betgenius’, a London-based provider of sophisticated data-driven software for the global sports betting and lottery sectors, which has 50 employees across the UK and Estonia, and ‘Made by Tall’, a web design company run by Guy Utley, who has more than 15 year’s experience in the industry. Other new tenants include ‘Octari’, an IT services company, ‘Brilliant Social Media’, a social media consultancy and graphic design company, ‘The Archipelago’.

The new lettings were facilitated by Creative Space Management (CSM) which is the managing and letting agent for Tower Works on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), extending its role at the Round Foundry Media Centre. CSM is also managing and letting agent for the neighbouring Round Foundry and Marshall’s Mill developments on behalf of the Aviva Igloo Regeneration Fund.

Comments Paul Taylor, from CSM: “This cluster of new lettings and the success of the scheme in just seven months is testament to the fact that the proposition we’ve created here is working. The flexible leases we offer are ideal for start-up companies and SMEs, operating in changeable market conditions. The original, heritage architecture combined with modern, hi-tech facilities, have proved a winning combination, and this is boosted by its convenient location within Holbeck Urban Village which, once again, is a thriving creative community and the heart of a movement which is spreading across the city. The aspirations for a new digital hub, outlined in the New Dock masterplan, add to a very exciting time for the digital sector in Leeds and it is key that we retain this pool of talent in the city.”

Tower Works is funded by Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with additional funding support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which has invested £1.9m into the project.

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