£500k Investment In New Enterprise Hub At Mallusk

Mallusk Enterprise Park creates new jobs and invests in space for new and existing businesses

Mallusk Enterprise Park is expanding its business offering with a £500k investment in new facilities at their site in Mallusk Drive. They have recently launched a new enterprise hub, offering collaborative space and conference facilities, creating new jobs in the burgeoning industrial area.

Included in the new development is a standalone social enterprise coffee shop, catering for the continuing growth in the area, as well as a break-out space for people using the new hub, due to open later in 2023.

Emma Garrett, Chief Executive of Mallusk Enterprise, explained that this was part of the ongoing commitment to making sure businesses in the Newtownabbey and Antrim areas had the space and support to develop and grow.

“The Enterprise Hub comprises five individual huddle rooms and offices, a collaborative-working area, breakout space and conference facilities which accommodate up to 40 delegates,” she said. 

“Users can book the facilities for an hour, a half day a day or even a month to make sure there is flexibility based on need. Each element can be booked individually, or can be hired as the entire venue with full catering options available.”

Ms Garrett said this was part of the ongoing aim to provide additional facilities for the burgeoning area in their five year and ten year planning.

“The Mallusk Enterprise Hub idea was conceived pre-Covid,” she explained. “We found there was a demand for affordable managed workspace from individuals we supported through our business support programmes, and existing tenants alike. Mallusk is a very industrial area. 

“Our new high-tech conference and meeting facilities provide a welcoming and professional space for interviews, training and strategy sessions away from their usual place of work. We transformed three industrial units, totalling 3,000 sq ft into what is now known as The Enterprise Hub.”

It represented a £300k investment on top of a further £200k in other services, as well as the devotion of Mallusk Enterprise staff to make it a reality during and after lockdown, and is part of its overall growth plans.

“The Mallusk Enterprise Hub will also provide a collaborative break-out space for the 300+ people employed within the 60 businesses who call Mallusk Enterprise Park home,” said Ms Garrett, adding: “Further to this we are currently evaluating a number of local sites as we have over 50 businesses on our waiting list for business accommodation in Mallusk.”

In the last 12 months alone the Mallusk Enterprise Park team dealt with 169 enquiries from individuals wanting to start a business. 100 of these enquiries progressed to the completion of a Business Plan. Additionally, it has supported over 240 growth stage businesses, coming at a time when it celebrated an anniversary.

“Mallusk Enterprise Park celebrated turning 30 this December,” said the Chief Executive. 

“The organisation was established in 1992 as a social enterprise whose primary objectives were to reduce unemployment levels and reduce levels of poverty through the promotion of self-employment. This remains very much true to this day. 

The team is dedicated to supporting individuals and small businesses at each and every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.”

Ms Garrett said the new Enterprise Hub was already proving its worth. 

“The Enterprise Hub is being utilised by our Business Advisers to meet with clients on a one-to-one basis and deliver training sessions such as ‘Marketing on a Shoe String’, ‘Business Ideas Generation’, ‘Financing Your Business’, and ‘Establishing a Social Enterprise’,” she explained. “We have the benefit of charitable status which allows us to do more pro-bono work for tenants and people living locally. We are very much a part of the local community.”

The Enterprise Hub can also be used by individuals, tenants and local businesses at a below market rate. 

“As it is reasonably priced, with no long term commitment, the co-working space and office pods allow people to work within a professional environment, away from their kitchen table,” she said. 

“And there is wrap-around business support on-site, free parking, EV charging points and professional administration support which provide the ideal environment to run a business.”

The hub has created one full-time position of a front of house administrator and a number of part-time self-employed and casual positions such as marketing angels and administration roles.

The ongoing demand for business space means that the enterprise park has further plans to support the area as they seek to expand on its portfolio of commercial property that has 300 people employed across 60 businesses, occupying 50,000 square feet of property.

It represents the purpose of Mallusk Enterprise to reduce poverty levels and create jobs through self employment and business growth.

“We are much more than simply a Business Park,” concluded Ms Garrett. “We are integral to Mallusk. We give back to and integrate with the local community through events such as Mallusk Market we recently held in December supporting 25 traders and three charities. Santa even made an appearance and presented free gifts to over 90 local children.”

Chairman Iain Patterson said: “Along with the other Trustees, we are proud to support Emma and the team as the Organisation continues to go from strength to strength. The Mallusk Enterprise Hub and Coffee shop are just two of many exciting developments in the pipeline.“

For more information about Mallusk Enterprise Park and The Enterprise Hub go to mallusk.org

Tina Calder