An expanding Cumbria firm which has just moved to Westlakes Science Park hopes to be a “shining light” for other local start-ups after completing a hugely successful tenure at Barclays Eagle Labs Cumbria in the pioneering Bus Station redevelopment in Whitehaven.
The former bus station closed in 2002 but was brought back into community use by regeneration experts BEC in an innovative £6.1million development with funding from Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority,
Preserving its heritage, the premises which reopened last year have been transformed into flexible office space and is home to Barclays Eagle Labs Cumbria – a unique business enablement hub to support start-ups and entrepreneurs – and hugely popular restaurant The Peddler.
And today – commissioning service delivery provider MissionCX – which in June last year was one of the first Eagle Labs members to occupy space at the Bus Station, urged other businesses to follow suit after a phenomenal tenure at the venue.
So much so that 11 months on MissionCX, who provide specialist commissioning delivery services, has expanded at such a pace that the company has just completed its move to bigger premises, namely Westlakes Science Park.
Owned by BEC, Westlakes Science Park is made up of some of Europe’s most dynamic nuclear, research and development and technology businesses.
Managing Director Ben Slater said: “Hopefully we can be a shining light for other local start-ups and micro small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“We demonstrate that there are companies around that can support you on that journey as your business grows.
“We have forged this exciting pathway from the new and vibrant facility at The Bus Station to an almost ready-made move on space here at Westlakes, a beautiful and fantastic estate.
“We hope the move will aide further growth with our existing clients and allow us to develop relationships with future clients.”
The MissionCX team in ‘Stop 3’ at Eagle Labs Cumbria in the Bus Station
MissionCX, which ensures projects are commissioned on time, and on budget for a diverse portfolio of clients, predominantly in highly regulated industries, has been able to create more jobs locally with the number employed swelling significantly within a year.
It now employs six full time office staff with another 30 staff deployed in the field on various projects for the burgeoning company which offers a wealth of expertise and support for all aspects of commissioning, document control management and IT support services.
And Ben, who tapped into Eagles Lab provision including mentoring support and a Funding Readiness Programme which gives expert advice on funding options for business growth, added: “The fact we have moved premises proves that the Eagle Labs model at the Bus Station is working. We have had great support from BEC and are look forward to continuing that relationship into the future.”
Eagle Labs Cumbria was the 24th in Barclays’ nationwide network.
It offers co-working, office, and meeting space, plus a space where entrepreneurs, individuals and businesses can access innovative tools, curated events, and the right network to innovate.
Entrepreneurs can also access banking services, business expertise, mentoring and coaching.
Gary McKeating, Head of Community and Development for Sellafield Ltd who helped fund the development said: “This is what the Bus Station and Barclays Eagle Labs is all about: supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and move on as they prosper. Sellafield Social Impact Multiplied (Six) has funded to see this kind of result and I’m so glad that we have our first move within a year. Here’s to many more in the future.”
Bill Graham, BEC’s Head of Investments said: “The success of MissionCX is thoroughly deserved and their move to Westlakes Science Park is a perfect fit for such a dynamic and growing company.
“Their expansion is also a massive indicator that The Bus Station and Barclay’s Eagle Labs is doing what it was set up for, giving a platform and helping hand in the heart of Whitehaven to Cumbria’s brilliant and innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs. I would urge any others considering The Bus Station and Eagle Labs as their home to grab the opportunity with both hands.”
BEC drives valuable regeneration that benefits local communities by reinvesting profits from the let estate portfolio into environmentally sensitive, community driven developments.
To find out more or to join this exciting business community visit https://labs.uk.barclays/locations/cumbria