A BUSINESS accelerator hub launched to boost Bishop Auckland’s economic growth is looking for budding entrepreneurs to fill new low cost studio space.

Pod, which is based in the Market Place, is offering locally-based creative ventures all-inclusive packages from as little as £30 a week.

Six new studios have been created, adding to its existing offering which to date has given more than 50 County Durham artists the opportunity to both sell and exhibit their work on an ongoing basis.

Now the call has gone out for ambitious and creative business people to come forward and emulate the success of designer jewellery and homeware brand Gillian Arnold, which has increased its workforce and seen turnover double since becoming the first operation to move into Pod about a year ago.

Kate Gorman, Pod manager, said: ““Pod provides a great facility for local creative enterprises wanting space to grow and take advantage of the investment being made in the area, to tap into additional support services and mentoring to take their idea to the next level before moving out into the wider community.

“Being based at Pod means they can focus on what is important – growing their concept.

“Supporting the area’s often highly innovative and individual creative businesses is another step towards creating the right climate for further investment, economic prosperity and employment in Bishop Auckland.

Mrs Arnold said: “Part of the appeal of Pod wasn’t just the space, but the help and support it offers and the chance it will give us to help mentor the new businesses that will be moving in. It is exciting that the new studios are coming online.”

The types of businesses Pod aims to attract include illustrators, web designers, jewellers, photographers, ceramicists, woodturners and leatherworkers.

Pod applicants should contact Kate Gorman on kate.gorman@aucklandcastle.org.