Business people from across west London gathered to celebrate a year of success of a project at Uxbridge College's Hayes Community Campus.
Hayes Business Studios were set up to provide low-cost office space and subsidised support for business start-ups. The £1m facility was developed in partnership with Uxbridge College, Hillingdon Council, the London Development Agency and Hillingdon Community Trust.
Nine of the ten studios are now occupied and the services are being extended to offer a mailbox facility, which is in development. The studios have attracted a range of businesses involved in many sectors including IT storage solutions, freight forwarding, a care work recruitment agency, computer training, international student recruitment and a media company specialising in balanced coverage of the African market.
Guests at the event celebrating the first year of the studios included the Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Shirley Harper-O'Neill and Chief Executive of Hillingdon Council Hugh Dunnachie, who commented:
"The Hayes Business Studios are a fantastic local success story and one that the council is proud to support and be a part of. In today's uncertain economic climate it has never been more important to invest in the business professionals of the future and Hayes Business Studios ensure that they get the best possible start."
Nasim Khan, owner of Tapecity, occupies one of the ten studios and talked to guests about how his business, selling IT backup such as USB flash drives, CDRs, DVDs and professional tapes from his website www.tapecity.co.uk, has benefited from being based at the studios.
Nasim said: "I started my business with a home office, but I grew out of the space quite quickly and my family were fed up of seeing stock in the hallway! I saw a banner advertising Hayes Business Studios and came along to find out what it was all about. The studios have everything available for a business that is just starting out and we couldn't ask for anything more. The vibe at the studios is really good and it is going really well for us."
Nasim also donated an MP3 player to raise funds for the charities supported by the Mayor of Hillingdon - Age Concern, EAR4U and P3 - a youth charity.
Speaking at the event Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: "It's great to see what's been achieved at Hayes Business Studios in their first year - particularly with the challenging economic conditions everyone is facing. I would like to congratulate all those start-up enterprises in the studios on their hard work and accomplishments over the last year. I am sure all the partners involved in the project will agree it's a real privilege to be helping new businesses find their feet and succeed."