Apart from having entrepreneurial drive, creativity and huge ambition these individuals are united by one other factor; they are all working from the Creative Quarter, a unique, vibrant and emerging area with a calm and peaceful feel and beautiful and unique surroundings. The creative community have united and you can almost smell excitement, limitless possibility and change. These entrepreneurs are here to make their mark, to make an impact and create significant and positive change from a destination outside of London.
That location is the seaside town of Folkestone, a town traditionally appreciated for its harbour, channel corridor and more recently, its quick access to town on the new high speed link. The region has recently been awarded £35 million by central government as part of its Regional Growth Fund which is designed to be distributed in the form of interest free loans in the region. It cannot be disputed that with additional funds, a new faster connection to London and a more affordable cost of living, Folkestone can provide a family home by the sea offering a serene quality of life many of us simply don’t consider to be an option when we are leading a business.
However, having recently visited The Creative Quarter in Folkestone, I can say that this old run down town has more to offer than cheap house prices and some fresh sea air. The area boasts a thriving collection of studios and unique spaces offering businesses, artists and retailers a unique opportunity to be inspired, be ignited and be involved in an innovative, forward thinking and revolutionary community.
The area is overseen by arts regeneration charity, The Creative Foundation, which under the pioneering foot of Alistair Upton will manage a project which will restore the area’s vitality and evolve it’s creative enterprise.
As a young entrepreneur who sometimes feels that my voice gets lost in the big smoke, the community culture ignited a fire in my belly. The crisp sea air swept the commotion and nonstop noise out of my mind leaving nothing but clarity and creative inspiration. Walking around the narrow pebbled streets, absorbing the odd combination of history, creativity, poverty and innovation, I felt alive. It felt like I was walking around a film set and I was able to press fast forward and see just how this would end up. My mind whirred with excitement around the possibilities and opportunities this quaint little town had to offer. Just imagine, I thought, how this town will buzz once the incubator for tech start-ups is in full swing. Just imagine, a rabble of young entrepreneurs plotting and planning on the seafront. Imagine trains whizzing from the overcrowded streets of old street to the peace and serenity Folkestone has to offer - for team building, for creative thinking or just for the days when you need some space to think.
I imagine, like many other entrepreneurs my drive and motivation does not come from financial success, from home comforts or flash cars; I want to be part of something. I want to deliver something meaningful and have a dramatic and irreversible impact on, ideally the world, but realistically just the community of which I consider myself to be a part of.
So what can this little run down town offer me? And more importantly, what can it offer you?
For me, it will give me the opportunity to help develop and nurture entrepreneurship and to some degree, I will be able to do this with a clean slate. By getting in early I won’t have to fight egos, red tape or process. My little voice will go a long way and could prove to be a pivotal platform in my career. Who knows what this unlikely destination might be able to offer you, all I know, is that if you have a desire to make significant change and get excited when you see innovation, sniff possibility and can feel the unison of a community, hop on the train for 45 minutes and see what a breath of sea air can do for you.
visit:http://www.creativefoundation.org.uk/ and book your tickets