“It’s fair to say my first impression of OCP was one of confusion,” admits Marj. “I didn’t fully understand it. But I soon learnt that OCP is a unique combination of enterprise, education and the community.”
Dozens of small and medium-sized businesses are here under the umbrella of Manchester University Incubator Company and Manchester Science Parks, and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are studying at the National Enterprise Academy, (see Grant Ridley’s story). The Manchester College is here too, with local students getting the benefit of business experience without having to even leave the building.
Looking around Central Park, not only is there a lot of positive progress but there will be many more opportunities over the coming years.
“Part of our role is to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities across the building,” explains Marj. “For example, we have graphic design students from the College working with a variety of smaller businesses. The students benefit from an understanding of real life situations and the companies benefit by having a fresh approach to their business challenges. Certainly you achieve much more by collaborating than trying to do things on your own.”
But OCP does not restrict itself to supporting and developing enterprise within its own walls. “We support the regeneration of East Manchester by procuring products and services as much as possible from the local area,” says Marj, “and we encourage others to do the same.
“Looking around Central Park, not only is there a lot of positive progress but there will be many more opportunities over the coming years as we become an even greater catalyst for growth in East Manchester. It is hoped also that as OCP grows, these new companies and organisations that locate here will be able to employ people from the local community.
At OCP we are trying to encourage people wherever possible to use public transport and that will especially include Metrolink which should make an enormous difference to the travel infrastructure.
Why choose One Central Park?
“It’s a good time to be around East Manchester and a great time to be around OCP. The businesses are growing and the College is supporting everything we do. Combine that with the developments around us: Greater Manchester Police Headquarters, the Divisional Headquarters, Metrolink, Fujitsu and of course The Sharp Project which is its own massive success story. All give massive opportunities for companies and learners alike over the next few years.”