Tech City to move east with Whitechapel office space and accelerator

Central Working to open 20,000 sq ft space in iconic Edwardian building

Business venue operator Resolution Property today announced the upcoming opening of a new 80,000 sq ft venue, set to host a new accelerator programme for financial services start-ups.

Set to open in the first quarter of 2014, Resolution said Dept. W will serve as a multi-purpose ‘media hub’ for early stage creative and tech businesses, hosting office space, workshops, studios, galleries and co-working clubs.

Housed in the former Wickhams department store adjacent to Whitechapel tube station, it is hoped the venue will spark a wave of entrepreneurial activity in the East London location, which already hosts creative icons such as the Whitechapel Gallery, Genesis Cinema and the David Adjaye-designed Ideas Store.

Startups Awards-winning office venue operator Central Working – founded by 2006 Young Gun James Layfield – has been unveiled as Dept. W’s first tenant, occupying 20,000 sq ft of the new multi-purpose space from which it will host a new Fintech accelerator programme.

Delivered in collaboration with Microsoft Ventures and Barclays and run by accelerator specialists Techstars, the Barclays Accelerator will support ten companies set to ‘shape the future of financial services’ in a three-month programme providing seed funding, office space and dedicated mentoring.

Resolution said its long-term plan for the venue is to undertake a comprehensive restoration and redevelopment in around three years’ time, in order to create a new Grade A mixed-use development focused on the tech and creative industries.

Dept. W will form part of Resolution’s growing portfolio of office space targeted at creative companies, which also includes the Bonhill Building in Shoreditch, the Alphabeta project near Finsbury Square and the Ampersand development in Soho.

Juliette Morgan, property specialist at Tech City UK, said: “’Tech City were delighted to help connect Barclays/Techstars to Dept. W.

“Resolution has shown true leadership in providing affordable grow-on space close to Tech City, and we’re grateful for the investment they’ve made into the community on Bonhill St, Finsbury Square and in Mile End.

“The early demand for this building demonstrates the great need for flexible affordable space, and we’re glad to have helped bring some to market. The cluster is growing.”

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