Pollards Studio launches for budding entrepreneurs in Merton
A brand new support centre designed to help budding young entrepreneurs make a start in business, has been opened at Pollards Hill in the London Borough of Merton by local MP Siobhain Mcdonagh - part of a major £20m regeneration and redevelopment project.
The project is led by the London Youth Support Trust (LYST), with support from national building contractor United Living and funding from housing association Moat, through their charitable arm, Moat Foundation.
Pollards Studios is a new community facility which invites young people living in the area to develop their skills and consider the options available to them for setting up a new business. The studio comprises seven separate workspaces and offers a wide variety of free-to-access services including support with business planning, help in navigating and accessing funding, one-to-one mentoring, and digital skills training.
Subsidised workspace is also available for young entrepreneurs, sole traders and start-ups at Pollards Studios, with rates beginning at a very affordable £100 per month all inclusive, from hot-desking to office space. There are 15 co-working spaces in total, four of which have already been taken. The Studios will be open between Monday and Friday from 9am to 5pm with support from three dedicated members of staff, including a business support manager who will be available on site at all times.
Jacqueline Noon, community development manager at United Living said: “By working in partnership with Moat and LYST, United Living has got this fantastic local initiative off the ground for the benefit of residents living in Pollards Hill and the local area. The new space, equipment and support offered for people looking to start up a new business will be invaluable for many should make a real difference for the local community.”
Siobhain Mcdonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people of the Pollards Hill area and I look forward to coming back and meeting some of the young entrepreneurs and see how they are getting on.”
Pat Shelley, CEO of LYST, said: “London Youth Support Trust are excited to be working on the Pollards Hill estate and would like to thank Moat Foundation and United Living for all their help and support. We look forward to getting our Young People’s Business Centre fully operational and creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere in which young people can both create and conduct business.”
Mumtaz Samad, Head of Moat Foundation, said; “Moat Foundation are delighted to sponsor the work of LYST in Pollards Hill. This project proves that partnership working is achieving amazing outcomes for the community. The Pollards Hill Studios will be an excellent resource for budding young local entrepreneurs and will offer access to expert business start-up information and support. The use of innovative and creative space will help them to grow their business ideas and aspirations.”
Pollards Studios is the latest development in the extensive Pollards Hill regeneration project, which, as well as the social regeneration element, includes the refurbishment of more than 400 homes. Works include new high-performance roofing systems, external wall insulation, replacement windows and doors as well as some 200 kitchens, bathrooms, heating and electrical upgrades where required.