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New businesses enjoying life at Strawberry Fields

The Strawberry Fields Digital Hub, Chorley

A brand-new development in Lancashire is now home to some of the region’s top creative and digital businesses as new tenants are starting to move in. The Strawberry Fields Digital Hub, just off the M61 and M6 motorways, has already seen businesses creating new jobs in the first few weeks and there are exciting plans ahead.

The building, off Euxton lane, Chorley, not only boasts state-of-the-art facilities and the fastest broadband, it will host on site digital business support and a university advisor giving businesses an advantage over others.

A big draw for the new tenants has been having a fantastic new home in a great location without the hassle of travelling into cities.

Neil Lyon, Director at Azura Engineering, which provides hardware and software solutions for the automotive industry working for clients across the world including Ford, said: “I’d spend a lot of time travelling to Sheffield but being closer to home it means we can spend more time developing the products.

“We did look at Manchester but Chorley gives us a great location at a good price too.”

Soft Sell Online is one of the businesses already expanding and moving into Strawberry Fields mean they can do just that.

“Moving here means we can expand our offices and take on new people but it’s also nice to be in with a group of digital businesses,” said Richard Whyte, Software Director.

“That opportunity to collaborate with them further down the line is really exciting and we’ve been really impressed with the place so far.”

The £8.4 million 42,000 sq ft Strawberry Fields Digital Hub is owned and managed by Chorley Council, which secured £4.1 million in grant from the European Regional Development Fund to make it happen.

It is seen as a real coup for the local authority to have a development of this type, which will really accelerate the digital economy in this part of the North West and provide high value jobs for hundreds of people.

So much so, Digital Lancashire has chosen Strawberry Fields as its base and Managing Director Duncan Sandford is excited to be a part of it.

“This will really be a hub of activity whether it is events teaching new skills or collaboration between different businesses, which I’m really excited to see happen,” he said.

“It’s also a great place for bringing together the industry and education and I can see lots of schools and colleges visiting to experience what it’s like in the digital sector, which is growing all the time.

“In addition to that, which is a factor for a lot of the businesses, it is brilliantly located in Lancashire and I’ve yet to come across anything else like this in the county.”

The hub has a high capacity server and super-speed broadband, vital for advanced digital businesses. The space available includes hot desks, micro pods, flexible desks and more traditional office suites and a mix of meeting and training rooms will be on site offering workshop facilities as well as a networking zone.