Latest News | 26 January 2023

University hails incubation centre success

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The University of Derby has hailed the success of its Banks Mill Studios business incubation centre after a number of its clients recently moved out to commercial premises.

The Bridge Street venue was set up in 1999 to support the development of new businesses within the creative industries.

It provides low-cost studio and workshop spaces for over 60 creative businesses through studio rental and membership, and offers training opportunities and access to the networking and other services provided by East Midlands Chamber.

Its aim is to nurture new businesses and enable them to grow until they are ready to move on.

The three latest businesses to announce they are ready to leave Banks Mill for new premises are Anchor & Crew, Art Chairs and Studio 4.6.

Anchor & Crew is a jewellery brand, which has been based at Banks Mill for five years.

Having built a strong online and instore presence during that time, it has moved to multi-storey premises in Sadler Gate, in the Cathedral Quarter.

Art Chairs, which sells chairs and footstools that have been reupholstered with quirky and contemporary fabric designs, has moved to to Hopkinson’s House, in Wirksworth.

And Studio 4.6, which specialises in hair and make-up for weddings, special occasions, music videos and editorial shoots, has moved to Uttoxeter Old Road.

Laura Williams, commercial manager at the University of Derby, said: “We’re really pleased that our incubation services have helped these three businesses grow and to be in the position of having their own commercial premises, which is the whole ethos of what we do.

“Banks Mill is a real hive of creativity, so with these businesses fledging we now have the space to support other new businesses.

“We’d love to talk to anyone interested in joining this vibrant community of artists and designer-makers – which includes fine art, jewellery, photography, fashion, weaving, graphic design and more.”

Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: “Banks Mill is an important component of the business support landscape in Derby, providing fit-for-purpose workspace and a nurturing environment that stimulates business development.

“The growth of these tenant businesses, graduating into their own commercial premises, achieved with the wraparound support provided by the University of Derby and its partners, is good to see.”

To find out more about Banks Mill, or to enquire about space, visit or e-mail

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