Since 2013, the centre has welcomed over 100 tenant companies & provided business support to over 1,400 ventures.
Last month, Allia’s team at its Future Business Centre in Cambridge were joined by key contacts, tenants, and partners from its 10-year history, to celebrate a decade of positive impact.
The centre was purpose-built in 2013 to provide workspace and community for social enterprises and start-ups focused on creating positive change. In this time, the centre has welcomed over 100 tenant companies and over 1,400 ventures and entrepreneurs have enrolled in Allia’s free business support programmes, all designed to help them to thrive, grow and create employment – as well as supporting them to generate more positive impact for people, place and planet.
When the building was designed, it was constructed with environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability in mind, and is classed as BREEAM Excellent, which is an internationally recognised certification standard for the sustainable built environment. In addition to features such as rainwater harvesting and solar technology built into the windows, the building lay out is specifically focused on creating a light and inspiring environment that encourages collaboration and networking for its community of users.
While Allia was founded back in 1999, the charity worked from various ‘meanwhile spaces’ across the city as it grew in size and status, until the Future Business Centre was built some 14 years later. Since 2013, Allia has expanded its operations to open a number of centres and workspace hubs to support growing businesses across Cambridgeshire: including a large centre in Peterborough in 2015; a small centre for small community businesses in central Cambridge; and only last year opened a new centre in the City Council’s historic Guildhall on Market Square, as well as a 2nd building at the King’s Hedges Road to create a Future Business Centre campus.
“The Future Business Centre has been an amazing journey. From the first realisation that Cambridge needed a business centre focused on social and environmental business development – to a reality which has become a sustainable, credible part of the local ecosystem. We have supported so many organisations to start and grow their social impact or green business idea and are particularly proud to be home to Cambridge Cleantech and many of its members for the whole 10 years. To the continuing stream of innovative and enterprising people who have benefited from and contributed to the life of the centre in this time, we are grateful to have had the privilege to play a part in your journey.”Martin Clark, CEO of Allia Impact
“What the Future Business Centre epitomises is the spirit of endeavour. Allia set out with the idea to make an impact on the availability of enterprise support for all in Cambridge and now, we have a £15m Future Business Centre campus at King’s Hedges as well as other workspaces in the city, plus a large centre in Peterborough. Hundreds of entrepreneurs, social enterprises and start-ups have developed their ideas with us as tenants and participants in our programmes. Their successes, the impact their organisations make, the people they employ, the communities they reach, the prosperity they add to the local economy – these are the successes that make us, them, and Cambridge proud.”Tim Jones, Chair of Allia Ltd
David Broach, Director of Allia Future Business Centres, looks forward, stating: “In the future, our Future Business Centres will remain committed to delivering our distinctive blend of high-quality, affordable workspaces coupled with a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. This steadfast support system empowers our tenants and programme participants to drive meaningful change, whether on a local, national, or global scale. Our vision includes expanding our footprint in Cambridge and Peterborough, while also exploring opportunities to extend our proven model to new locations, thereby amplifying our impact in previously untapped areas.”
To read more about the Allia ESG Bond which will help to finance the future of the Allia Future Business Centre in Cambridge, click here. Please email Martin.Clark@allia.org.uk with any enquiries and to register interest. A video has been made to celebrate the10th anniversary – take a look below.