Local entrepreneurs joined with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to unveil ‘Upstream’, a new campaign to make the borough the best place to do business in Europe.
Two successful H&F entrepreneurs who spearheaded the campaign – Greg Jackson and Sophie Devonshire – formed the H&F Business Commission.
The pair spent the past nine months listening to local businesses small, medium and large to identify what H&F Council could do to make the borough the best for business.
Their findings on the benefits of heading ‘Upstream’ to H&F were unveiled at Dunnhumby’s new headquarters in Shepherds Bush Road on Tuesday 21 March.
Speaking on the night Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Upstream is the heart of making H&F the best place to do business. IT’s going to happen – because we’re going to work together to make it happen.”
While Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London advocates and Shepherds Bush resident, said: “Innovation is in Hammersmith & Fulham’s DNA”. It is the birthplace of world-famous brands and a crucial cluster in London’s tech ecosystem.”
One of the main attractions singled out in the commission’s ‘Upstream’ report was the rich history of innovation and creative business that have called H&F home over the past century.
Sophie, CEO of The Caffeine Partnership, said: “H&F is the birthplace of such interesting brands and businesses. But know we really need to spread the world that H&F is a great place to do business.
She singled out a handful of visionary businesses and institutions that have chosen H&F for their headquarters, including: Disney, BBC Worldwide, General Electric, the Royal College of Art, L’Oréal, Westfield, Virgin Media, Shazam and Endemol.
The Business Commission’s ‘Upstream’ report identified four key areas where the council can help foster business success and pledges to make it happen in H&F:
Better spaces: Promoting co-working and hubs
- Ask developers to provide co-working space and hubs as part of their Section 106 agreements.
- Support co-working companies that come to Hammersmith & Fulham.
- Encourage developers to use their meanwhile space to provide short-term affordable co-working offices to start-ups making the move from garage to their first office.
Building a community: Fostering entrepreneurial networks
- Encourage businesses with large premises to support this initiative
- Support organisations that want to create a network of tech and creative entrepreneurs
After work options: A more vibrant nightlife in the borough
- Continue to support Westfield London’s expansion that launches in March 2018, which will strengthen the offer for the borough through the day, evening and night economy with restaurants, events and destination external space.
- Consider how to pilot an innovative late license that adds to the night economy but doesn’t disturb local residents.
Changing our ways: Support businesses better
- Launch and industrial growth strategy that focuses on effective interventions from the Council which will shape growth.
- Use the space we own in a prompt and innovative manner that supports the needs of businesses:
- Hammersmith Town Hall’s foyer will house PopWorks – a wifi-enabled rentable by the hour office pod.
- Curate the properties we let in favour of tenants who bring both social and economic value.