As the City of Lincoln Council prepares to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Think Tank, the business hub on Ruston Way lies half empty. Only 11 out of the 21 office spaces and nine workshops in the award-winning building are occupied at the moment, but the Council claims this occupancy is 43% ahead of targets.
The Lincoln Think Tank opened on June 10th 2009, and current tenants include an online camping holiday business and a property business, as well as the University of Lincoln, which has taken workshops and offices, and Angle Innovation Advice and Guidance, which gives innovation advice to businesses in Lincolnshire.
The building occupies over 2,800 square meters on Ruston Way, across the road from the Pavilions student accommodation, and was completed in 14 months, at a total cost of £7.1m. Alongside the City of Lincoln Council, other funders include Lincolnshire County Council, Objective 2 ERDF and Single Pot.
The local businesses that can afford an office space in the building have to pony up from £736 per month for rent (£8,836 per annum) of the smallest space available (40 square meters), and can go as high as £1,968 per month (£23,620 per annum for 116 square meters). In comparison, The Terrace cultural quarter next to Danesgate charges for office spaces from £207 per month, workshops from £288, and studios from £430 per month.
Businesses that already live in the Think Tank, which has iridescent cladding that changes colour depending on the incidence of light, are happy with their space in the building: “Since moving our offices to Think Tank, we have found a friendly and efficient service. […] The 24 hour access has proved useful for working some of the more irregular hours,” said Cameron Jackson from Opulen Acquisitions Limited, which held an office in the Think Tank for over six months.