A landmark in the development of a £1m project to support young people starting up new businesses was recently celebrated at Uxbridge College.
A topping out ceremony - held when the highest part of a new structure has been completed by builders - took place at Hayes Business Studios, Hayes Community Campus, on Friday 6 June.
The studios will provide low-cost accommodation and support to people starting out in business, like those on the BBC television show Dragon's Den.
To mark the event, the new Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Brian Crowe, planted a tree in the grounds of the studios off Coldharbour Lane, Hayes. Hillingdon Council is one of the five development partners in the project, which also include London Development Agency, Heathrow City Partnership and Hillingdon Community Trust.
The 10 studios, between 15m² to 17m², will have subsidised rent and will also include:
* Support and advice to help businesses grow
* Meeting/training room facilities
* Internet access
* Direct street access to modern reception & coffee pod area
* Parking and excellent travel links to central London, Heathrow and the local area
* Spaces all on flexible lease terms
* Office cleaning services, on-site caretaking and security.
Occupants will also be able to use all the facilities at the Hayes Community Campus, including Lifestyles fitness suite and restaurant, hair and beauty salons, and take advantage of additional free and subsidised training.
Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: "We are thrilled that this excellent development, designed to give the best possible support to young people starting new businesses, is part of Uxbridge College.
"Television programmes such as Dragon's Den and The Apprentice have definitely made the idea of business success more popular, so demand for the facility is sure to be high. Supporting the local and regional economy through training is already a key part of what Uxbridge College does, so it is pleasing to be able to extend that role even further."
Councillor Jonathan Bianco, Cabinet Member for Finance and Business Services at Hillingdon Council, said: "Hayes Business Studios are a new and exciting resource within Hillingdon. A dedicated, modern, affordable space which will offer support for young entrepreneurs taking the first tentative steps into the world of business.
"Young enterprise not only impacts on employment, business acumen, workplace opportunities and financial independence amongst young people; it also encourages young people to become active, innovative, creative and socially responsible citizens. By investing in our young people we are also making an investment in the long-term prosperity of the Hayes area because we are raising skills, ambition and achievement, and encouraging innovative thinking."