NeST and DigitalCity bring investment in ambitious local enterprises
10/03/2012NeST has confirmed its ties with DigitalCity by signing a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ and appointing a Satellite Animateur to assist member businesses.
Dr Anne Allen of Barnard Castle Vision signed the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ along with Mark Elliott, CEO of DigitalCity Business. It confirms NeST as the first rural satellite to DigitalCity. DigitalCity in Middlesbrough is home to a digital and creative supercluster which is fast earning a worldwide reputation for nurturing digital media, digital technology and creative innovation and businesses under its Garages to Global initiative.
The resulting investment in businesses in Teesdale is worth £100,000 in the coming two years. There will be a programme of business growth workshops as well as one to one coaching sessions and business surgeries. Members will also be invited to a range of networking events both in Barnard Castle, and at DigitalCity in Middlesbrough at its flagship BoHo One building, and its other ‘satellites’ in Redcar, and in Stockton. Workshops have already been conducted with Keith Moss, a photographer who is highly regarded as a mentor and photographic industry trainer. An ongoing schedule of workshops will be prepared to meet members’ requests, as well as networking opportunities for home-based businesses in rural Teesdale.
Dr Anne Allen commented: “We’re hoping that the coaching and networking available through NeST’s links with DigitalCity will open doors for any number of our small enterprises. The focus is on developing and connecting small private sector businesses. The result could potentially be complementary businesses working together. There is the possibility of members winning and delivering contracts together or new connections could lead to businesses expanding into new areas. Ultimately, we’re committed to helping our members grow their turnover and their reputation.”
Mark Elliott added: “The DigitalCity Barnard Castle Satellite is a really exciting development for us. A lot of people might think that digital is something essentially urban, but it’s not, and there’s no reason why digital and creative businesses can’t thrive in a rural setting. So we’re really pleased Barnard Castle wanted to join up with us. We’ve just appointed our new Director of Cluster Development, Mark South, and I know he’s raring to get going on what we think is the very first rural digital development of its kind anywhere. Added to the other exciting developments such as Digital Dale, it makes Barnard Castle a place to watch.”
DigitalCity Business has appointed Eva Zandman as its Satellite Animateur, or assistant, based in NeST, Barnard Castle. Eva currently has her photography business, Eva Zandman Photography, in the studio in NeST. She will be responsible for recruiting member businesses to NeST and working with those businesses to create a schedule of workshops and seminars to assist them in meeting their aspirations for growth.
Eva said: “Membership of NeST is growing by the week. I will be working with members, bringing in mentors and coaches to help them deliver to their true potential, organising networking events and bringing members together so they can meet, encourage one another and maintain momentum for their businesses. Anyone who would like to find out more is welcome to visit NeST, meet myself and other members and find out more about how NeST membership can assist their business.”
Anyone interested in NeST memberships should contact Eva Zandman by email at email@example.com or by calling 07723 097447. Members can use the hot-desking space, both at NeST and Enterprise House on Harmire Business Park, Barnard Castle. Membership also includes access to equipment including cameras, projectors and software.
Members can participate in any workshops, seminars or networking events taking place both at NeST Barnard Castle and the other DigitalCity linked hot-desking spaces. DigitalCity currently has hot-desking business space at BoHo One in Middlesbrough. Space can also be rented for meetings.
Barnard Castle Vision, the project responsible for economic regeneration in Barnard Castle, transformed the disused garage into NeST gallery, cafeteria and workhub. Funding has come from Durham County Council, Single Programme Funding direct from One North East, and a North Pennine Dales LEADER grant, obtained through the Rural Development Programme for England, jointly funded by Defra and the European Union and managed by One North East. The 2010-12 DigitalCity Business project is funded by ERDF, Single Programme, Middlesbrough and Stockton Council and Barnard Castle Vision.
To request further details on all opportunities available at NeST, such as renting a studio, gallery space or exhibiting within the new development, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01833 631529.