Northumberland National Park Authority has helped its longest-serving Enterprise Hub tenant to celebrate its 40th anniversary in business.
Bloodaxe Books has been a trailblazer for poetry publication in the UK since 1978. Publishing over 30 new titles per year with support from Arts Council England, the firm’s impressive client list includes some of the world’s most celebrated poets, including the late Helen Dunmore, whose collection ‘Inside the Wave’ won the Costa Book of the Year award for 2017. In addition to this success, Bloodaxe founder, Neil Astley, has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature during the company’s birthday year.
From its original home in the city centre of Newcastle, Bloodaxe made the move to Northumberland in 1997 and took up residence at its current home at Eastburn in 2014 as part of plans for expansion.
Neil Astley, founder and editor at Bloodaxe Books, said:
“Office rents and high overheads in cities like Newcastle inhibit the growth of small businesses. Our office in Hexham gives us all the benefits of local services and transport links, along with a highly supportive landlord, in a pleasant semi-rural environment without the noise, pollution and commuting headaches which staff in city offices have to deal with.
“Most of our international business is now done by email or outsourced to agencies so there’s no need for an expensive city centre location.”
Designed to provide flexible, professional office space for rural businesses, the Hexham Enterprise Hub comprises a mixed range of offices within the Eastburn building itself, including a ground floor hot desk room as well as a number of detached office ‘pods’ set within the tranquil grounds.
Boasting high-speed internet, a modern shared kitchen and dining area, rentable meeting rooms and flexible hot-desking facilities, Eastburn is within easy walking distance of Hexham town centre and public transport connections and provides an excellent base for growing rural businesses and holding meetings.
Tony Gates, chief executive at Northumberland National Park Authority, said:
“The National Park Authority has always been a great supporter of the region’s rural businesses.
“Our Enterprise Hubs at Eastburn and The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre have been specially designed to help nurture these businesses which play such an important role in
supporting our rural economy.
“We are delighted to count Bloodaxe Books among our tenants at Eastburn. Neil and the team are fantastic and the work that they do to raise the profile of the arts in Northumberland and beyond is truly inspiring.”
Long-standing supporter of Bloodaxe Books, Rory Stewart MP, Penrith and The Border, added:
“The arts belong at the heart of our rural communities and to have a publisher of the stature of Bloodaxe Books is a real asset for Northumberland National Park.
“Bloodaxe truly is one of Britain’s premier poetry publishers and I am lucky enough to own some of their award-winning books, which are a constant source of enjoyment and inspiration.”
There are currently two large pods in the grounds and two offices inside the Eastburn building available to let. To find out more about the Hexham Enterprise Hub, call 01434 605 555 and ask for Marion Hume, or visit www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/about-us/supporting-our-community/enterprise-hub/.