Brewing up business for home workers

CHEERS: Ted Salmon, chairman of North East Federation of Small Businesses, in the BrewHub lounge with first customer Billy Myers (far right), who runs Bioforce North East
CHEERS: Ted Salmon, chairman of North East Federation of Small Businesses, in the BrewHub lounge with first customer Billy Myers (far right), who runs Bioforce North East

A NEW £80,000 facility has opened for people who work from home.

The Old Brewery, in Castle Eden is the latest business centre to provide facilities under a North-East scheme to help rural businesses grow.

Known as the Castle Eden BrewHub, it takes its place at the heart of the existing Old Brewery Business Centre offering two separate spaces for co-workers.

There are four workstations in the airy atrium and four desk spaces in the state-of-the-art BrewHub lounge.

The lounge has a full wall mural of how the former Nimmo’s Brewery looked 100 years ago.

The BrewHub was formally opened by Ted Salmon, chairman of the North East Federation of Small Business and vice-chairman of North East Rural Growth Network.

Mr Salmon toasted the future success of the BrewHub with a glass of English ale.

Guests at the opening event included Billy Myers of Wingate-based biomass business Bioforce NE, one of the first users of the workstations.

His company owns several forests and has the equipment to produce pellets for biomass use but, so far, he doesn’t have an office of his own.

He says the workstation, wifi and coffee at the BrewHub have provided him with the perfect opportunity to get indoors and get on with the office side of his business.

Now he’s hoping to take a permanent office in the Old Brewery in 2015.

As well as providing equipment and support, the Castle Eden BrewHub will allow users to network with existing tenants.

Director Dave Picken said: “Research has shown that there are hundreds of people in rural areas who run their own business from home.

“Rather than work in a total vacuum, the idea of the hub network in the North-East is to provide desks, wifi, business support and networking opportunities. They may want to drop in and use the facilities for an hour or a full day. It’s up to them.”

A total of 20 business centres from Barnard Castle to Berwick-Upon Tweed have joined forces to create the new network to help support and stimulate economic growth across rural communities throughout the North East.