A former jam jar factory that once exported across the globe is set to become home to a fresh wave of ambitious firms as part of a £3m redevelopment project.
Maling Exchange will take over the space that once played host to the famous Maling pottery brand, in a conversion programme to create an office hub in the heart of the Ouseburn valley in Newcastle.
Hoults Yard has been awarded more than £1.5m from the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013, managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to part finance the project – a grant the company has match-funded.
Work is under way to create 40 offices which will be open for business in June 2015, all with access to superfast broadband and connectivity.
The firm said the offices will address an urgent need for bespoke workspace for the fast-growing creative and tech sector in the North East in over 45,000sqft of space.
Once complete, the Maling Exchange will create a “front door” to the Hoults Yard site, a busy office park and media hub housing 90 companies employing 500 staff in a raft of sectors including TV and film, public relations, fashion designers, iPhone app developers and search engine marketing specialists.
Office space available includes loft-style accommodation in 20 small units to businesses of one to three people, move-on accommodation of more than 1,000sqft for bigger firms and serviced meeting rooms.
Hoults Yard managing director Charlie Hoult said: “Maling Exchange builds on the success of Hoults Yard with a raft of innovations – superfast broadband, meeting suite and concierge reception.
“All this adds to the baseline offering with ready parking, 24/7 security and a great cafe. We’ve already had strong interest in our development which is well under way.
“There’s an urgent need for bespoke office accommodation like the Maling Exchange in Newcastle to cater for the rapidly growing creative and tech sector which is leading new regional economic growth.”
Coun Neil Foster, deputy chair of the North East European Regional Development Fund Programme Local Management Committee, said: “The Hoults Yard site has become known as a home for creative and digital businesses so I am pleased that ERDF is investing in the project to transform this building and create further opportunities for this growing cluster.
“This project will offer new and expanding creative SMEs an attractive, high quality workspace with like-minded people, transforming vacant or under-used space bringing benefits for the existing businesses in Hoults Yard as well as the local and wider community.”