One St Aldates opens for business

One St Aldgates, Oxford - (l-r) Richard Venables of VSL, Chris Allington, MD of Oxford Innovation, R

One St Aldgates, Oxford - (l-r) Richard Venables of VSL, Chris Allington, MD of Oxford Innovation, Rob Hetherington, City Council economic development manager and City Council leader Bob Price / Picture: Ric Mellis - Credit: Ric Mellis

Oxford Innovation and the City Council have launched a new business and innovation centre at Oxford Town Hall, known as ‘One St Aldates’, as part of the City Council’s aim to increase the range of office accommodation available for start-up and small to medium sized businesses in the city centre.

The move to create serviced offices in One St Aldates stems from the City Council’s Economic Development Team who conducted a review to assess the amount, type and range of business accommodation available in Oxford to support the city’s increasing number of innovative start-ups and university ‘spin-out’ companies. Based on data from Oxford Innovation’s Business Survival and Growth Report, published in July 2014, it is estimated that at least 127 gross jobs* will be created by businesses located at One St Aldates throughout Oxford Innovation’s ten-year lease.

Chris Allington, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of business and innovation centres, said: “We are delighted to form a partnership with Oxford City Council which will provide fantastic support to local businesses in Oxford’s prestigious and historic Town Hall. The location is a very attractive proposition for any ambitious business that is looking for an impressive base with the flexibility to grow.”

Mr Allington continues: “I’m confident the offices at One St Aldates will be snapped-up very quickly, mirroring what we’ve already experienced at the Oxford Centre for Innovation, which has been fully occupied for some time.” One St Aldates can support up to 16 growing companies in 6,000 sq. ft. of serviced offices, available from just 75 sq. ft. to 1,170 sq. ft. Councillor Bob Price, Leader of the City Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Oxford Innovation into the Carfax block of the Town Hall. The City Council’s economic development strategy identified the need for more starter units as a key element in sustaining the city’s rapid employment growth over the past decade, and the Starter Unit Review Report stimulated our plans to convert the Carfax block from its former use as offices for Council staff into a focus for innovation activity. The Council as part of the Oxford Strategic Partnership have listened to the needs of local businesses and will continue to work with stakeholders, such as key starter-unit providers, to promote economic growth and prosperity for the city.”

One St Aldates was marketed by VSL & Partners on behalf of the City Council. Richard Venables, Director of VSL & Partners, commented: “One St Aldates was an unusual building because it was sub-divided into so many smaller rooms and split over four floors. It ideally suits a serviced office function and given its central location should be very popular.” Mr Venables, who is also joint Chair of the City Council’s Economic Development Steering Group continues: “The principle aim of the Economic Growth Strategy for Oxford is to encourage innovation businesses to thrive and provide more starter unit space. This reuse of a City Council property aligns exactly with these aims and should assist the city economy greatly.” The refurbishment of One St Aldates is now complete to provide contemporary serviced office accommodation with stunning views across Oxford city centre. Businesses interested in finding out more and to arrange a visit, should contact Margaret Hewitt, Centre Director, T: 01865 261475; E: or visit

*Oxford Innovation has recently undertaken a research project assessing and evaluating business growth and survival at 15 innovation centres across a ten-year period (2003 – 2013). To download the report, visit: Oxford Innovation is a leading operator of business and innovation centres that provide office and laboratory space to companies throughout the UK. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business-planning advice, fund raising, coaching and mentoring.