The Enterprise Centre
The Enterprise Centre, which opened in 2014, is located in Chelmund's Cross Village Centre. By 2017 there were 13 permanent tenants.
The ground floor provides touchdown space with hot desks, two seminar rooms, which open into a larger space holding up to 40 people, and a lounge area for informal meetings. Upstairs are offices for tenants who benefit from a welcoming reception area, free wifi, visitor car parking and easy access to nearby motorway links and main local routes. Close to M42, NEC and Birmingham International Airport.
Offices cost from £400 per month (inclusive of service charge) and Pay Monthly Touchdown / Coworking Space is available. There is Superfast Broadband, cycle storage and shower facilities.
Call 0121 704 8755 for more information.
Business Startups in North Solihull – Over the last 10 years the North Solihull Partnership has supported Solihull Council’s Economic Development & Regeneration team by providing grant funding for their North Solihull Business Start-up programme.
The programme offered financial assistance to individuals in the North Solihull Regeneration Wards who wanted to start up a new business venture, become self-employed or grow a young business (up to 24 months old). This could be a minimum grant of £500, rising to a maximum grant of £2,000, available to eligible applicants who can demonstrate a viable and sustainable business plan, outlining how the grant will be used to create / sustain / grow a local business in North Solihull.
“The grant was a real boost for us. It helped us buy the main bits of equipment we needed for the kitchen like a fridge, the extractor unit and a proper fryer. The business has evolved and grown over the last few years, with us taking on more staff, opening on more days and doing external catering too. We’ve been very lucky and had a lot of support. The new Chelmund’s Cross village centre is a nice place to be, and we are at the heart of that. Three Trees is a great focal point for the community, so we get people in from all walks of life and we get to know them all. It is lovely to see mums popping in for a natter after dropping their kids off at school, and we’ve had a lot of construction workers come in while the regeneration has been going on too. The redevelopment programme has brought new buildings and more of a mix of people, which I think has been good for the area.”
Elaine Walker, who set up her own business, EW Bookkeeping & Accountancy in 2013, was awarded a £2,000 Kickstart grant which she used to buy better office IT equipment, freeing up her own funds to invest in marketing and staff. The company moved into the Enterprise Centre in 2015 and now employs two part-time staff as well as providing work experience placements for local people to improve their job prospects.
Elaine, who was 2017 runner-up in the annual Solihull Times ‘Six of the Best’ business awards, said:
“Regeneration has made the area so much better and we have some beautiful new buildings here now, but it is important we also educate people and attract further investment to help the local economy.”
Amorim Flooring - moved into the Enterprise Centre in 2014. CEO Simon Mills said:
“In mid-2014 we decided that the time was right to launch a new flooring brand in the UK. We knew from the outset that we wanted to base the business in Solihull, not just because of its central location and ease of access, but, more importantly for us, because of the skills that existed in the area. We are a service-based business, built on the quality of our people, and there is pool of talent in this area.
“After an initial period in a temporary office, we worked with the Business Development Team at Solihull MBC to find a permanent home. When they showed us The Enterprise Centre in North Solihull, it fitted our requirements perfectly - flexible office space, excellent facilities and it looked good so we could feel confident about bringing customers there.
“We are now into our third year of trading and going from strength to strength. We have recently been able to establish a partnership with a large European manufacturer which has given us the opportunity to extend our reach into new markets. The support that we received from SMBC, at a time when we really needed it, allowed us to concentrate on building our business – and the results we have achieved since then speak for themselves.”
Jobs Fund in North Solihull – The North Solihull Partnership has supported Solihull Council’s Employment & Skills Team by providing Socio Economic grant funding for the on-going Jobs Fund programme for over 10 years. Their remit has been to help unemployed young people from the regeneration area into work by engaging with local businesses and directly funding wage subsidies.
Their programme for 2016-2018 is called Youth Promise Plus – a European Social Fund and Youth Employment initiative. With NSP funding is has helped draw down additional finance.
Bethany’s Story - Youth Promise Plus Participant
“I first heard about Youth Promise Plus when I signed on at the Jobcentre. My YPP Intervention Worker helped me to polish my CV, so that it would stand out to employers. I also participated in many activities, such as mock interview, job clubs, assisted job search. Youth Promise Plus also put me on an AAT (accountancy) course, to further my chances of employment in Business Administration.”
“At our weekly job search appointment, Chris my Intervention Worker, told me about a vacancy at KS Training Ltd, and that they were looking for an Apprentice Assistant Administrator. I applied and I was ecstatic when I found out that I had been successful.
“My new job is challenging but rewarding, I feel that it has broadened my social skills, as well as my ability to work effectively in an administrative environment. I would most definitely recommend Youth Promise Plus.”
Sheila’s story – Centre Manager KS Training Ltd (KST) are based at the Enterprise Centre and wanted to recruit Youth Promise Plus (YPP). Sheila said:
“We wanted someone we could train throughout their Apprenticeship programme and, at the end of it have the benefit of a fully up-skilled ‘embedded’ member of staff from the local community. John, an Employment & Skills Project Officer at Solihull Council visited us so that we could explain our requirements. He explained he was going to advertise the vacancy with partner organisations and would keep in touch.
A short time after our initial meeting, John sent over Bethany’s CV. She interviewed extremely well and we were that pleased with her that we rang her and offered her the job the same day we interviewed her! She is already proving to be an excellent addition to our team. Her attention to detail, accuracy of information and phone manner are just what we were looking for. She is learning quickly and very willing to ‘get to grips’ with new things. “It is great to find a young local person and be able to offer them a good start and at the end of it we get a fully trained member of staff too. That’s a win, win.’’
This is an enterprise being run by a local community business, Chelmund's Community Enterprises C.I.C, who prepared a business plan and secured a ten year lease to open a fish and chip shop at Chelmund's Cross Village Centre. They also secured £100,000 of investment to enable the fitting out of the premises. The North Solihull Partnership contributed £20,000 from its socio economic grant scheme programme towards the costs.
The project is unique in terms of training people within a real work environment and has created sustainable employment for 6 local people long term and 2 training posts on a roll on roll off basis, in an area where there are few employment opportunities.
The enterprise will also be re-investing its surpluses into local community and charitable activities with an aim to providing additional support services for the areas most vulnerable people.
The Art Shack @ Chelmund's Cross
The Art Shack is a new community art studio and exhibition space adjoining the Three Trees Community Centre, at the heart of Chelmund’s Cross in Chelmsley Wood. Set-up in March 2016, The Art Shack is managed by professional local artist and storyteller Ronnie Cashmore, artist in residence at Three Trees.
The Shack hosts regular local community sessions, exhibitions and projects, unleashing local talent, supporting equality in creative expression and serving as a voice for the community.