Wigan culture hub bringing local entrepreneurs together

The town centre location has welcomed its newest tenants.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:45 am
Tenants and representatives from The Old Courts outside the culture hub
Tenants and representatives from The Old Courts outside the culture hub

Three businesses have moved into The Old Courts to join the trio of independent concerns which previously made the Crawford Street building their centre of operations.

Northern Heart Films, Flexible Therapy and Gifts Beyond Words have all moved into the office spaces at the Victorian former seat of justice.

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Chloe Stokes from The Old Courts in one of the refurbished office spaces

The Old Courts refurbished its office facilities and opened them up to be let from March and is delighted that half a dozen spaces are already occupied.

Northern Heart Films is an award-winning production company specialising in documentary storytelling.

The firm has over a decade of experience producing films for broadcast, cinema, charities and campaigns.

Flexible Therapy was set up by two qualified counsellors to provide a holistic approach and offers services online, by phone, face-to-face and in a walk-and-talk format. The firm can also run creative therapy sessions.

Sam Lloyd and her daughter Ruby Lloyd from Gifts Beyond Words

Gifts Beyond Words is an online Etsy business specialising in hand-made personalised prints for special occasions, and has moved into The Old Courts after seeing demand for its products boom during lockdown.

In a joint statement Natasha Hawthornthwaite and Scott Bradley from Northern Heart Films said: “We are really excited to be one of the first tenants in the Old Courts Studio space.

“Not only is The Old Courts such a beautiful building but it’s within walking distance to the train station with amazing links to Manchester, London, and Preston which is a real benefit for our business.

“It is great to be in a space with other creative businesses with an added bonus of a bar, cafe, and theatre being on site.

Natasha Hawthornthwaite and Scott Bradley from Northern Heart Films

“We are really looking forward to our future here and getting to know the team behind the building.”

Samantha Lloyd, owner of Gifts Beyond Words, said: “The new studios at The Old Courts have provided me with the ideal space to grow my new creative business.

“It’s offered me the opportunity to work alongside like-minded people and is conveniently located within the town centre.”

The latest arrivals at The Old Courts join existing office tenants Static Records, Tallula Vintage run by a creative designer using sustainable fabrics and vintage clothing, and a chartered architects’ practice which has more than 30 years of experience in the UK construction industry.

Adele Atherton, founder of Tallula Vintage, said: ‘’Moving into the courts was the best decision I have ever made. I had previously worked from home but being in the supportive, creative joy that is The Old Courts has helped me more than I can explain.

“My business is doing fantastically well, I feel part of a family and I have never been happier it’s a truly amazing place.’’

The Old Courts now hopes to attract more independent businesses, start-ups and freelances to the building to create a cultural quarter in Wigan

Rebecca Davenport, director of sales and marketing at The Old Courts, said: “Our new studio spaces were developed to provide a new home to a variety of brilliant creatives, charitable organisations and social enterprises.

“We like to think that ,being creatives ourselves, we have made the perfect spaces for our individuals and teams to thrive.

“As well as the practical facilities for our tenants including meeting rooms, kitchenettes, a shower room, Wi-Fi and printers, we have purchased artwork from local artists to bright up the communal areas and have also commissioned Oh So Specials to produce two wall murals, which are just fabulous.

“We’ve already welcomed several really exciting tenants and have already seen collaborative working starting to happen. There’s a great vibe around the building and I’m excited to see what other tenants we might attract.”

The Old Courts says its vision is to make Wigan a creative hub along the lines of neighbouring cities Manchester and Liverpool.

The concern says the town’s transport links, colleges and redevelopment projects such as the transformation of Wigan Pier mean there is no reason why creatives should not pick the borough as a base.

To find out more, visit theoldcourts.com

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