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Smooth operator assumes the Mantle at Bradfield Centre



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James Parton, managing director of the Bradfield Centre, and Guy Baker, CEO of Mantle Business Centres. Picture: Keith Heppell
James Parton, managing director of the Bradfield Centre, and Guy Baker, CEO of Mantle Business Centres. Picture: Keith Heppell

The new manager of the Bradfield Centre is regional office specialist Mantle, which has taken on the operation of Cambridge’s flagship deep tech collaborative workspace.

The Bishop’s Stortford-based flexible office operator and investor already runs CB1 at Cambridge station and The Officer’s Mess in Duxford.

“We are delighted to welcome the Bradfield Centre to our growing portfolio of high-quality, thriving business centres,” said Mantle CEO Guy Baker. “Each of our centres has its own unique identity – so our priority will be preserving the ethos and values of the Bradfield Centre to ensure it continues to fulfil its role as a vital hub for the region’s tech community. It’s business as usual for the members who enjoy the world-class facilities and we are keen to build on this flourishing entrepreneurial hub.”

The £20million Bradfield Centre, in the heart of the Trinity College-owned Cambridge Science Park, opened in 2017.

Speaking to the Cambridge Independent, Mr Baker said: “We’re really pleased – it was an honour to be approached by Bidwells on behalf of Trinity College.

“Bidwells know us well. We operate the CB1 centre for Brookgate, and Bidwells manages that so they know us through that and through wider connections. We opened with Brookgate in 2013. The site is full, it’s working well, and we have a waiting list.”

The building of the Bradfield Centre was part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in a collaboration with Trinity College. The flexible working space has proved popular with entrepreneurs, researchers and students. Since opening, it has supported more than 120 companies working on cutting-edge technology ranging from AI, data science and augmented reality to edtech, fintech and biotech.

“Trinity has been an inspiration in providing an innovation centre on the Science Park for growing deep technology companies,” says Mr Baker. “Spin-outs from the university and technology-based innovation and growing companies means the Bradfield Centre is quite specialised, and we’re offering the facilities for those kind of companies.

“Our goal was to deliver a seamless transition, so we’ve kept the same staff – they’re really excellent – and the continuation is almost unnoticeable.”

So unnoticeable that the new operator has been in situ for the last two weeks.

Charles Cotton giving the keynote at the Bradfield Centre for the Cambridge Independent Science & Technology Awards 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham
Charles Cotton giving the keynote at the Bradfield Centre for the Cambridge Independent Science & Technology Awards 2019. Picture: Richard Marsham

“That’s been our initial goal,” Mr Baker says. “We took over the Centre on December 1, and we’re working on enhancing the importance of the Bradfield Centre in the technology space. It’s an interesting and exciting opportunity.

“Mantle is an experienced business centre owner and operator and we have the experience and expertise to take on all the systems required. I’m very pleased with my team and the collaboration with Bidwells and the Bradfield Centre to get this going.”

James Parton, who has continued his role as managing director of the Bradfield following the collapse of Central Working in November, said: “The team has remained intact, the mission of the centre is also continuing as it has been over the last couple of years.

“The Bradfield Centre is more than desk space, its value is in adding services to businesses and communities.

“We’re very pleased that things have worked out as they have and that the mission will continue.”



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