First tenants move into Strawberry Fields

The Strawberry Fields Digital Hub in Chorley has opened to house creative and digital businesses and the first tenants have moved in.

The £8.4m, 42,000 sq ft development features state-of-the-art facilities and the fastest broadband as well as offering on site digital business support and access to a university advisor.

It is owned and managed by Chorley Council, which secured £4.1m in grant from the European Regional Development Fund to make it happen. 

The aim is to facilitate the creation of hundreds of high value jobs in the digital sector, with Digital Lancashire choosing Strawberry Fields as its base. 

Duncan Sandford, managing director of Digital Lancashire, said: "This will really be a hub of activity whether it is events teaching new skills or collaboration between different businesses, which I’m really excited to see happen.

“It’s also a great place for bringing together the industry and education and I can see lots of schools and colleges visiting to experience what it’s like in the digital sector, which is growing all the time."

The opportunity to collaborate down the line is really exciting.

Neil Lyon, director at Azura Engineering, which provides hardware and software solutions for the automotive industry working for clients across the world including Ford, said: “I’d spend a lot of time travelling to Sheffield but being closer to home it means we can spend more time developing the products. We did look at Manchester but Chorley gives us a great location at a good price too.”

Richard Whyte, software director at Soft Sell Online, said: "Moving here means we can expand our offices and take on new people but it’s also nice to be in with a group of digital businesses. That opportunity to collaborate with them further down the line is really exciting."

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