THE WHISKY Bond in Glasgow is cementing its support of creative microbusinesses by converting vacant spaces aimed for larger firms with ten to 20 employees into further small units suitable for start-up and firms with one or two employees.

“All small and medium spaces are occupied,” said Helen Teeling, director at Taktal, the creative agency that specialises in managing space and event, which looks after the bond. “The larger ones for more established companies are available so what we’ll do is sub-divide them into smaller units that are a bit more manageable for small creative businesses.”

The Whisky Bond is a 100,000sq ft creative business and artist hub in the north of Glasgow that overlooks Spiers Wharf. It opened in 2012 as joint venture partnership led by Isis Waterside Regeneration and has since attracted around 60 businesses and more than the same number of artists to take up residence across its office and co-working spaces.

Occupancy rates are now 70 percent, and as further investment goes into regenerating the north of Glasgow Ms Teeling is confident the facility will continue to provide affordable studios for artists and young emerging creative businesses, helping companies to collaborate and develop businesses models that become self-sustaining.

While its biggest tenant is Glasgow School of Art’s archive department, other residents include Alba Orbital, which has developed Europe’s cheapest and lightest satellite, and contemporary watchmaker Nomad Watches.

“Because of the scale of the building, there’s scope to [attract] diverse companies, but we need to be mindful we don’t dilute that,” said Ms Teeling. “There needs to be a mentality of complementary interests. For example, there’s a lawyer who has a flexible membership, who works with creative companies, so that taps into the eco-system.”

This summer will see the company launch Test Unit, an art, design, architecture summer school and events programme. “We’ll be looking at the issues that have faced the area and how we can bring creatives, designers, architects, planners, and the council together to come up with physical interventions that address some of the problems that are there but also build on the culture and creative community that is establishing itself,” said Ms Teeling.

Taktal is also consulting with The Glue Factory, a former derelict building developed into an arts and events space. The Glue Factory was part of a partnership that was in February awarded a Scottish Government regeneration capital grant fund of £1.3 million to regenerate the local area – its share was £375,000.

Ms Teeling said: “We’re working with the partners and Glasgow City Council to draw down the money, which will be used for the development of the Glue Factory as a building which will feed into that wider regeneration and the community offer.”

For any small creative businesses requiring both space and a support network, Ms Teeling said both the Whisky Bond and Taktal were there for them.

She added: “We need to ensure relevance, to be diverse but complementary. Everyone needs to have an understanding and interest in the other’s practices and business needs. But it’s not about creating direct competitors, so there has to be enough common ground to facilitate a meaningful support network.”