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Historic business centre celebrates

Tue 5 January 2010, 4:04 pm

The Joiners Shop in The Historic Dockyard Chatham is celebrating its successful first year of operation - with 80% of its 44 units now occupied.
The 200-year old building is Grade II* listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It has a colourful history and its most recent incarnation is as a specialist Centre for Creative Industries. It opened in January 2009 and is already home to 38 businesses.

Basepoint, the organisation that manages the Centre, will host a celebratory event attended by representatives from South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) who co-funded the £3.3 million restoration project, and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, together with original workers from the Joiners Shop and current tenants. The event was scheduled for January 13th, but delayed due to poor weather conditions - a new date is expected shortly. Meanwhile, Allison Sweeney, centre manager for Basepoint said: "We are delighted that The Joiners Shop has attracted such a wide mix of creative businesses in its first year, from web and graphic designers, architects, IT support, to specialist printers and engravers.

It is great to see the demand for space from companies starting up and growing." Lee Amor, SEEDA's executive director for infrastructure and development, said: "The Joiners Shop is providing the much-needed infrastructure to encourage and support creative businesses. Creative industries are one of the strengths of our economy and are important to the future economic growth of the South East. I am particularly pleased to see the links between the University of Creative Arts and local businesses being fostered within the building. The Joiners Shop is another positive step in the regeneration of Chatham Maritime."

Bill Ferris, chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, said: "The Historic Dockyard is already home to a thriving community of creative businesses and is a cultural hub within Medway. The Joiners' Shop project, with its specific purpose of creating an enabling environment for small and mainly new creative businesses of all kinds, adds an exciting new dimension. Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with SEEDA, CLG and Medway Council to provide this fantastic facility."

The Joiners Shop Centre for Creative Business provides 1,000sq.m of office and workshop space for up to 44 small and starter businesses, particularly those in the creative industries. For further information, contact Allison Sweeney, Manager of The Joiners Shop on 01634 816000, or email


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