Launch22 (Robyn Dooley / Michael Walsh)
Tell us a little bit about who you are!
[MW] We’re Launch22 Liverpool, we’re a non-profit and what we aim to do is provide funding, space and contacts for local entrepreneurs and local businesses. We have an office in London and we also plan to expand into places like Manchester and Belfast. One of the unique things about is, once you buy a space here, you can use a space wherever we’ve got an office no matter what!
Why did you chose TEMPEST for your Liverpool base?
[RD] We chose TEMPEST because Eddie (Founder of Launch22) met with Tim (Co-founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC) one afternoon and they spoke around some of the difficulties Eddies had when setting up a business. I guess Tim just kind of understood what Eddie was going through and wanted to create a building or eco-system that supported entrepreneurs that were going through similar things. So he really liked what Eddie was doing with Launch22 and I suppose he wanted that within his building as he knew it would be right to support the startups in Liverpool. Because in terms of startups in Liverpool, we’re quite low compared to everyone else and CAPITAL&CENTRIC wanted to encourage more entrepreneurship.
Whats the atmosphere like at TEMPEST?
[RD] It’s interesting, it’s a building that people known has been here for years but they didn’t yet know what was going to be made of it. Because this was originally going to be knocked down, so to see it being brought back to life after 10 years seeing it standing alone quite desolate, people are really surprised to see how beautiful it looks inside. Yeah it’s really nice to be able to bring people up here and show them the roof garden and show them the view that we have, just to kind of nurture them in.
[MW] You often pass this building with no idea, you know the TEMPEST building but don’t actually know whats in it and I got a massive shock when I came up here for the first time. Just how sleek and nice it looked when you came up the stairs and the unique garden up the top, it’s a nice atmosphere.
If you're not a fan of brutalism, the exterior can be quite harsh can't it?
[RD] I always say that to people! But once you get inside it’s so beautiful. I was speaking to Tim yesterday, just in terms of how they re-use space rather than rebuild. I think that in itself is pretty unique.
[MW] I think that’s a major thing for Liverpool though, as Liverpool has a lot of listed buildings and there’s a lot of buildings by the docks, there’s a lot of buildings scattered throughout town which are not being used and the potential is not being tapped and the good thing about TEMPEST is the fact it’s actually being put to use now and it’ll be great not only for the business community in Liverpool but also in the North West in the future.
Whats your favourite thing about the building?
[MW] Probably the shock that you get when you’re inside, when you first come in you think it’s going to be a drab office but then you come up here and see these amazing spaces. It’s just refreshing that you know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
[RD] Would I be biased if I was to say Launch22 is probably the best part of the building?
Nope! (well maybe) Why is that?
[RD] Well for one, it’s the part that’s got the rustic edge and I think that’s why people like it so much and the view! Sixth floor, it’s pretty sick and probably better than all the ones downstairs. And because it’s got people in from all different backgrounds and career paths and that in itself just brings the space alive so that’s where I think we’ve got the advantage.
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