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Start-up offices plan to attract tech businesses

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NEW tech businesses are to be offered start-up premises in a council-owned office block in the town centre.

The offer will probably see two floors of Davis House, located behind the council's Bernard Weatherill House headquarters, offered to new businesses.

It comes as a response to promises from the Labour council to help enhance Croydon's reputation as a tech city.

At the recent summit held by Croydon Tech City, Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said finding space for start-up tech businesses was vital and gave a commitment to helping locate premises.

She said this week: "The people at Croydon Tech City are doing a wonderful job and we want to see what we can do to help.

"We can't give them money but we have got some space in the town and I think we should be using it to help them."

Discussions regarding the offer of Davis House are currently being held.

Cllr Letts said: "I would like to see the space in Davis House offered rent free initially to start ups and those companies or individuals who have been working here and are looking to expand."

She believes Davis House offers an ideal home for start-up tech businesses, being both in the town centre and close to Matthew's Yard, in Surrey Street, where Croydon Tech City holds regular meetings and events.

Cllr Letts said "We are very excited about what is happening; tech is the future."

The council is now in the process of talking to office developers about ensuring that superfast broadband is available in all new developments.

Cllr Letts added: "I made a promise I would help tech businesses find accommodation and I am trying to keep that promise as quickly as possible."

Jonny Rose, one of the founders of Croydon Tech City, said he was delighted with the idea of using part of Davis House as a tech hub.

He said: "It is amazing and what we need to do now is to talk to the council about when and how it can all come about.

"Between 2011 and 2013 there was a 21 per cent growth in tech businesses moving into the area, coupled with people who are starting up who are already in borough. There are therefore a lot of people who are looking for cheap premises."

There is also a demand from people looking to move from working from home into small office space.

Davis House was bought by the council for £19 million in 2008 and is now occupied by both council staff and private companies.

Start-up offices plan to attract tech businesses


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