Steel container cabins carry hopes of new businesses in Tyrone
A creative way to turn vacant business units into a number of smaller enterprise spaces has been launched in a Co Tyrone town, using 13 steel cabins that once brought cargo over from China.
The Cube is in a 4,000 sq ft unit at Dungannon Enterprise Centre, which had been left vacant after previously being home to an exhaust manufacturer.
The initiative was born after research showed a demand for small start-up business spaces with many entrepreneurs who were working from home feeling isolated from the business world and finding it hard to manage a work-life balance.
In just over a week, half of the colourful crates have been claimed by a mixture of new and established businesses in Dungannon and the surrounding area, including a graphic designer, a jewellery maker and an accountant.
The premises come with heating, and electricity with rent of £50 per week, including rates and superfast broadband.
The Cube comes with a recreational area for tenants to wind down by playing a game of pool or relaxing on artificial grass, while at the same time they can get together and develop new ideas with their fellow entrepreneurs. A putting green is also being installed.
The Cube was developed by Dungannon Enterprise Centre chief Brian MacAuley, who said he was responding to requests from budding entrepreneurs who wanted to start a business but were put off by high rent and rates.
Mr MacCauley said: "The density of self-employed people within the Cube is greater and has much better prospects that one individual business. With the mix of start up and established businesses, this is a blended approach to incubation."
Dungannon Enterprise Centre opened in 1991 and is home to 70 businesses employing 280 people.
Mr MacCauley said the initiative was one that can be developed for similar units or even vacant high street property.