Creative business programme gives Leamington Spa’s Parade pedestrians pedal powered boost
The University of Warwick’s free Creative Futures Incubator based in Leamington Spa’s co-working space 1 Mill Street is already powering up new local businesses, but now is also powering pedestrians up the Parade in Leamington, with 2 e-trikes. These innovative pedicabs provide a creative, environmentally friendly way for residents to get around the town centre and access the shops.
The Creative Futures programme gives small creative businesses six months free access to state-of-the-art offices, meeting spaces and collaboration networks at 1 Mill Street (which is based on the corner of Mill Street and Leam Terrace). It also provides tailored coaching sessions, access to enterprise experts and mentors and the ability to network and learn from other businesses in the Incubator and Mill Street members.
In discussions with local partners about how the programme could use creativity and ingenuity to benefit residents and identify another cohort of creative businesses to work with, the team spoke to BID Leamington and hit upon the idea of supporting the link from bus stops to shops, by offering a fun, comfortable rides up and down the Parade while it is closed.
From 12noon to 4pm on 15th and 16th July and 11am – 4pm on 17th and 18th July, the Creative Futures Incubator will be providing two sponsored electric Pedicabs to provide pedal power to Parade pedestrians who wish to access shops and services. Pedicabs developed by Hailservices, a Coventry-based zero emission taxi and delivery services company, are powered by friendly riders, and will be stationed at the top and bottom of the ‘closed’ area when not enroute. Passengers are invited to flag them down and enjoy the ride completely free of charge.
Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director, BID Leamington said
“Businesses supported by Creative Futures have already been making a positive impact in the town centre, so we are delighted to support this programme. We are also keen to explore future sustainable access, mobility and delivery options that serve both businesses and customers, so felt this this might be interesting idea to try out”
In 7 months, the first 5 businesses in the Creative Futures Incubator raised £101k worth of finance, created 3 new jobs and gained 9 new clients. The University of Warwick through this scheme delivered 101 hours of 1:1 coaching, 23 hours group sessions & introductions to 64 business or academic contacts. The businesses also benefited greatly from connecting with over 250 small and medium enterprises in the 1 Mill Street community and connecting with the wider creative cluster which is the largest outside of Greater London.
Clare Green, Creative & Digital Communities Manager at the University of Warwick said:
“We want to help creative business accelerate, so finding a creative way to help pedestrians accelerate up and down the Parade while we look for the next cohort of creative businesses feels appropriate. Leamington pedestrians have between 15th and 18th July to take us up on our pedal power offer, but creative business have until the end of the month to apply to join the programme”
Details on how to join the scheme can be found here:
For your chance to win £50 to spend in Leamington Town Centre take a ride and post an image (photos, video or selfie) on either ‘Twitter’, ‘Facebook’ or ‘Instagram’ using the hashtag (#) ‘#LiftLeam’ between the dates of the promotion, to be entered into the prize draw. (T’s and C’s apply)