Hub aiming to help businesses

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley (right) officially opens the new Newcastle Business Hub, based in Benton, with John Porrat and Helen Reed.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley (right) officially opens the new Newcastle Business Hub, based in Benton, with John Porrat and Helen Reed.

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SMALL businesses are being offered a helping hand in getting up and running by a new venture based in Benton.

Newcastle Business Hub is aiming to support the growing number of start-up and home-based businesses across the region.

Its premises at Benton’s North Tyne Industrial Estate were officially opened by borough mayor Linda Arkley last week.

Based within Newcastle Business Village, founded by husband-and-wife team Mark and Helen Reed in 2009, the hub provides office and meeting space, as well as access to a range of help and advice.

Mrs Arkley said: “There are a growing number of small businesses located across North Tyneside who, at this stage in their development, do not require permanent office space but need access to formal space from time to time.

“Newcastle Business Hub provides an ideal support infrastructure for such businesses and could well be a springboard for their ongoing success.”

John Porret, managing director of Unique Magazines, was one of the first to move into the business village 18 months ago, with a team of four.

“As a result of our rapid growth, the team has more than doubled in size, as has our office, workshop and warehouse space,” he said.

“The hub, while designed to meet the needs of smaller businesses than ours, provides the same flexible reassurance that companies need to be able to prosper.”

The hub was Helen’s idea, and she said: “We recognise that there are a growing number of professionals going it alone, many of whom have chosen to operate home-based businesses on a permanent basis.

“That said, there are times – be it school holidays, a need to socialise or a desire to network with other professionals – when traditional office space outside of the home is required, which is exactly the premise for the business hub.”