The growth of Hull’s digital and tech economy is fuelling interest in the city’s most eagerly anticipated office development.
Three of the city’s most exciting tech businesses – Woof, Consult Dan and Forward Thinker Developments – have signed up to lease office space at C4DI (the Centre for Digital Innovation).
The three companies are currently based in C4DI Beta, a co-working facility on Queens Street which is the forerunner of the main C4DI development.
Each will take managed office space on the first floor of the building to facilitate ongoing success.
Developed by Hull-based commercial developer, Wykeland Group, C4DI forms the centrepiece of @TheDock, a major regeneration scheme within Hull’s Fruit Market and Central Dry Dock area.
The 23,000sqft office building will provide co-working facilities, meeting rooms and event space on the ground floor with offices ranging in size from 170sqft to 5,000sqft on the three upper floors.
It is on programme to complete in October.
Digital marketing and SEO specialist Woof was established five years ago by business partners Dave Foy and Gareth Hanson.
The company took on its first member of staff in May this year and has taken office space to accommodate its growing team.
Mr Foy said: “Moving into C4DI Beta was a really great step for Woof because we became part of a community of people with a huge amount of knowledge that we could tap into. There is a real spirit of collaboration which is fantastic to be a part of.
“Taking office space in C4DI is an extension of that. We will use the office to speak with clients but spend the rest of the time on the ground floor collaborating with other people and working on great ideas. From that point of view it is the best of both worlds for us.”
Guy Wallace, founder of Forward Thinker Developments, said taking a dedicated office on the first floor of the new development was integral to growing his business.
The company provides web design, app development, photography and graphics and specialises in creating start-ups including Good2Go, QuickSync, Mila Mala, Picture Yourself and Hull Box Office.
Mr Wallace said: “C4DI doesn’t just offer us a space and desk to work. It offers us a culture and atmosphere that encapsulates the brilliant people and ideas that are blossoming under its roof – Ideas that will continue to flourish once settled into our new home opening in the autumn.”
Dan McIntyre, founder of Consult Dan and Sports Mail Online, said working from C4DI Beta put him among likeminded people who inspired him to be more productive.
Mr McIntyre said: “Being in Beta is fantastic, I love it. It provides opportunities for co-working that simply don’t exist anywhere else.
“Moving to C4DI is a natural progression. As my businesses grow I do need my own space, but retaining that co-working facility means I still have access to the collaborative philosophy which is central to the development.”
The deals follow on from the Escada Group’s announcement it is to locate its headquarters at C4DI earlier in the summer.
The agreed leases, plus others currently going through legal process, means more than 50 per cent of the building has now been committed to.
John Connolly, managing director of C4DI Ltd, said he was delighted to see start-ups from C4DI Beta mature and progress on to leasing office space at the new development.
“The philosophy of C4DI has always been to facilitate the creation of start-ups in the digital and tech sector, creating a thriving digital community and helping conventional businesses innovate, grow and use technology more effectively,” he said.
“Seeing these companies progress from the co-working space in C4DI Beta to office space in the main development is testament to the fact that the philosophy is bearing fruit and that C4DI is at the centre of the region’s thriving digital and tech sector.”