The 19th of July 2014 would be a very special day here at the Winchester Business Centre if it did not inconveniently fall on a Saturday. Instead we will have to settle with today, Friday the 18th of July, to mark the first birthday of the wonderfully refurbished Winchester Business Centre. I would like to say time has flown but being as a year ago today I was in a swelteringly hot car driving home to the East Midlands after my graduation I am not really qualified to comment. What I do know however is that the Winchester BID launched the business centre to act as an incubator space for local start-up businesses right in the centre of this ancient and vibrant city and we have been very pleased with the results. We are now proud to play host to a wide variety of businesses from a whole host of sectors and are continually pleased to hear people talking excitedly about the opportunities that the Winchester Business Centre can offer.
Last month we were proud to see a genuine success as we took the delivery of box after box of office furniture to help one of long term our users move out of the business centre to set up his own office elsewhere in the city. After we tested our special reasoning abilities trying to fit everything into the boot of his car we were pleased to wave him off to start this new exciting chapter of his business. Whilst we may have said goodbye to one user we have recently also been excited to welcome many more entrepreneurs through our doors, we have sorted their mail, answered their questions, and even allowed one particularly lucky user to join and eventually go on to win our office World Cup sweepstake! The overwhelming message that we have received from our year in this shiny new space is that entrepreneurial spirit in the Winchester area is not only alive and well but is in fact thriving in an inspiring manner.
The business centre is increasingly being used as a venue for meetings both by members of the Winchester BID and by visitors to the city looking for a place to do business. We’ve had BID members taking advantage of their free access to the board room, including a whole host of police officers sitting around the table with their radios crackling and the great and the good of the Hampshire NHS. Our business centre users also take full advantage of the space themselves – once we were excited to look through the doors and see a whole array of sweets and treats spread across the conference table for one of our customers but unfortunately there was nothing left over for us to sample!
We’re not stopping to congratulate ourselves though – along with today’s birthday Prosecco and cake and the launch of the Business Centre Blog, we are kick staring the evening networking events which have been a hit here in the past, with the aim of creating a culture of local wisdom. We are also recreating our promotional material to help draw in even more exciting new businesses to the centre and getting out into events around Winchester spreading the word on our wonderful centre. The whole BID team is looking forward to another great year both for the Winchester Business Centre and for the city as a whole.