Looking for workspace?

The problem:

Ashton Old Baths was built in 1870 as a communal swimming pool for the citizens of Ashton under Lyne. The Victorian Grade II listed building is a landmark in Tameside, but had laid unused since 1975. In 2013, Tameside MBC and Place First secured funding from the EDRF and Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and renovate the building into a thriving hub for digital and creative businesses. The next step was to find an operator who could deliver on the vision for Ashton Old Baths as a digital and creative hub while also maintaining its iconic and historic look and feel.

The problem:

Ashton Old Baths was built in 1870 as a communal swimming pool for the citizens of Ashton under Lyne. The Victorian Grade II listed building is a landmark in Tameside, but had laid unused since 1975. In 2013, Tameside MBC and Place First secured funding from the EDRF and Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and renovate the building into a thriving hub for digital and creative businesses. The next step was to find an operator who could deliver on the vision for Ashton Old Baths as a digital and creative hub while also maintaining its iconic and historic look and feel.

Our solution:

Following a competitive tender process in 2015, OI were appointed as operators for Ashton Old Baths – with the primary objective of delivering within the breath-taking building a dynamic, active and engaged community of entrepreneurs and innovators. OI worked with the architects, MCAU, to finalise the fit out and partitioning of the wooden internal structure while also creating informal collaborative working and meeting spaces within the wider building footprint.

 

Partnering with local branding agency, The Neighbourhood, we also undertook an indepth branding exercise to develop the positioning of the centre within a relatively crowded Greater Manchester market for creative and digital workspace. The uniqueness of the building and the business support we would provide in it led to the creation of an impactful marketing campaign, drawing on the history of the site but looking forward to the future.

Impact:

Ashton Old Baths opened in late May 2017, with 4 customers moving in on day 1. As of October 2017, we are projecting 100% occupancy of the office space and a dynamic community of creative and digital SMEs growing their businesses and creating employment in the Tameside area.

The fit out of the building was not without its challenges, but by working with the Council, MCAU and HemingwayDesign, OI was able to create the environment creative and digital businesses are looking for in Tameside: bright and airy with collaboration and networking spaces maximised.

In January 2018, the first cohort of the AOB Digital Dozen will launch: a 6 month accelerator programme for 12 Tameside entrepreneurs who need the support and advice to take their business idea from the bedroom into the commercial world.

The building itself has been given a new lease of life, but still seen as a community asset. The iconic Ashton Old Baths is once again at the heart of the community within the town and will provide opportunities for local creative and digital entrepreneurs to start, grow and sustain their businesses in Tameside.

Interested in finding out more?

CONTACT US