Regeneration project and SiGNAL bring new jobs and big business to Whitehill & Bordon￼
The regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon is paving the way for an estimated 3,000 new jobs in the town and its immediate surrounding area. And while many of these will be coming through the arrival of big businesses, small, local businesses are also playing a vital role in making Whitehill & Bordon a thriving, prosperous community for generations to come.
When it comes to employment, the overall aim of the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC) is to create at least one local job for every new home built, of which there will be a total of 2,400. However, during the most recent community question time event held on 6th July, WBRC Project Lead, James Child, said that, if all goes well, it’s looking like the regeneration will end up creating at least 3,000 new jobs.
A lot of jobs are coming with the arrival of large businesses to the town, including board games company, Asmodee, whose new, cutting-edge distribution centre is currently under construction. Asmodee’s turnover has tripled since the start of the pandemic and the company is now worth £120 million. Its move from Alton to the heart of Whitehill & Bordon is a significant moment for the town’s business aspirations.
A further 1,200 jobs are being created with the development of the new town centre, including The Mess Hall, The Shed, and the leisure centre, but this is just the beginning of the story.
SiGNAL – Helping small business thrive
At the heart of business and job creation in Whitehill & Bordon is SiGNAL, a business support and training organisation which also provides flexible, affordable workspace for small businesses.
In the past two years, SiGNAL has renovated and sublet 15,000 sq ft of co-working, office and commercial property space while coaching and advising 206 local small businesses on how best to thrive and scale. Current tenants in SiGNAL’s spaces include a gin distillery, carpenters, artists, photographers, care providers, and a nursery.
SiGNAL has helped its 29 clients create 39 jobs in the town which is a significant achievement because those jobs represent businesses making their first efforts to upscale, often from one person to two which is, by far, the most difficult transition in the world of start-ups.
SiGNAL still has commercial workspace available on affordable and flexible contracts for any local small businesses that need it. Entrepreneurs and founders looking for workspace are encouraged to contact the Signal office via email ([email protected]) or phone (01420 556335).
James Child, Project Lead at the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, says:
“Bringing big businesses into Whitehill & Bordon and increasing opportunities for local people to form and succeed in their own small businesses are equally important measures of success for us. It’s all about providing opportunity and creating a strong local economy. We’re working hard to make the town an attractive business location and to ensure that there are plenty of great jobs available to those who want them as the population of the town increases.
On this mission, it’s vital for us to have great local collaborators like SiGNAL who can ensure that local businesses are given just as much room to succeed in Whitehill & Bordon as the larger businesses are, and we are hugely grateful for the amazing work Emma and the team have already achieved.”
Emma Selby, Managing Director at SiGNAL, says:
“SiGNAL customers are mainly micro businesses – under ten employees- which is a largely overlooked and ignored sector of the economy. However, micro businesses account for 95% of all businesses and generate 20% of private sector employment. Our mission is to help as many owners as possible to create the strong foundations they need to scale.
“We are very proud that all our tenant businesses have not only survived the pandemic but have generated an average of one new job each. We know that the best way to support micro business is to combine flexible affordable rent with business support. In this low risk environment, business owners find it easier to make their first hires. SiGNAL created 3 jobs per 1,000 sq ft of workspace in 2021 – 2022 and we look forward to doubling that space and the number of jobs created in the next year.”