The Creative Exchange, a new incubator and workspace for
creative and digital media businesses, is opened today by the City
of Edinburgh Council. Mark Gorman, Chairman of Creative Edinburgh, tells
What is the Creative
The Creative Exchange is a new business incubator and workspace
for creative industries companies based at the Leith Corn Exchange
building, 29 Constitution Street, Leith. Originally built in 1861
as a marketing hall, Leith Corn Exchange building has housed a
variety of functions in its lifetime and now exists as an award
winning, stunning and contemporary office accommodation.
The space available comprises open plan accommodation planned
over ground, 1st and mezzanine levels. It has offices, meeting
rooms, gallery space, and it's being wired up for the latest state
of the art broadband technology. There’ll be superfast broadband
initially (c. 24Mbps), with plans for ultrafast (c.100Mbps) fibre
optic broadband later in the year.
There are a variety of packages you can take out as a member for
fixed desk space and hotdesking, for example weekends or evenings
only. The important thing is all the extras that come with it,
including a good security system and your own locker. Edinburgh has
been crying out for something like this. It is happening at places
like TechCube in Summerhall, but the Creative
Exchange is different in being a completely dedicated creative
industries incubator. Leith has traditionally been regarded as an
IT and media hub, but the significant development the area has seen
over recent years has extended its appeal to many other occupiers
including Cisco Systems, Ipsos MORI, VisitScotland and The Scottish
What has inspired it?
It has been inspired by the success of the City of Edinburgh
Council’s creative industries economic development strategy. This
involves three workstreams around the themes of ‘People, Place and
Pound’ to develop skills, facilities and funding from both private
and public sector sources to grow the city’s creative industries
sector. Creative Edinburgh is at the core of this strategy and
represents the ‘People’ theme. Our aim is to create living and
breathing networks where random collisions can happen of a positive
nature. We’ve now got over 700 members and 3,500 people following
us on Twitter, so we’ve started really quite a strong network. The
council see that they also need to invest in the physical
intrastructure supporting the creative industries, and that’s what
the Creative Exchange is about.
Who will be involved?
The City of Edinburgh Council
have led and are part-funding the project with Creative Scotland.
Edinburgh College is also
a partner. Funding for the ultrafast fibre optic broadband will be
coming from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Urban
Broadband Fund, which aims to create 10 super-connected cities
across the UK. Creative Edinburgh will be taking two desks in the
Creative Exchange so will have a permanent presence there.
Specialist business incubation support will be available through
delivery and investor partners. Sir Tom Farmer and other special
invited guests will officially open the Creative Exchange on
Thursday 11 July.
What's the vision?
The vision is to help grow and strengthen Edinburgh’s creative
industries sector, which has an estimated 4,000 businesses
supporting 26,000 people. The potential for growth is huge – and
providing the tailored business support and technology these
businesses need is key. The Creative Exchange will
provide a really vibrant creative hub where Edinburgh’s creative
industries can find a foothold to get going.