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20th March 2018 by Sue Jennings

Beam Works – Shining a Light on Creative Talent



At Castleton Mill, our desire to support innovation and business growth underpins just about everything we do. Creating a flexible environment and supporting the life-cycle of our creative businesses is what we believe has made us into the awesome community we are today. From start-ups and creative freelancers to small and medium-sized enterprises, we have created spaces to support the needs of the creative industries in Leeds perfectly.


Beam Works is evolving alongside the community growing within it.

Beam Works is our new hub for enterprise and innovation. Backed by our team of successful and social entrepreneurs, Dirk Mischendahl, Michael Hay and Sue Jennings, we have developed a brand new ‘satellite’ community within this new shared studio space.

Situated on the ground floor of our wonderful mill, Beam Works is a magnificent spacious studio with sand-blasted brick walls, stone floor, original pillars and huge windows looking out onto the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Our mission when creating this new shared studio space was simple, we wanted to open up a prime office space and create a professional, flexible working environment for exciting creative entrepreneurs and start-ups and, importantly keep the costs low and arrangements simple to allow creativity to flow.

We have welcomed amazing creative individuals into the space, like Nancy Anne Harbord, creator of delicious vegetarian recipes with Delicious From Scratch and Matt Balcers of Sprocket Agency.

Nancy Anne Harbord – Delicious From Scratch

Our experience tells us that freelancing is tough, working from home can be isolating and doesn’t always create the right environment to allow great ideas to flourish. With Beam Works, we have opened our doors and provided the opportunity for a new community to evolve at Castleton Mill. Without imposing rules or tricky criteria; a new, exciting and diverse bunch of creative entrepreneurs has now made the mill it’s home and brought with it an exciting new aspect to the work we do.

Matt Balcers – Founder of Sprocket Agency

Not only do we now have our very own pool of talent for the wider mill community to work with, we are able to watch great things happen and support business growth and innovation when needed. Our new Beam Works community is inclusive and although working in diverse areas of creative practice, our co-workers express similar struggles when it comes to freelancing or starting up a new business from scratch.

Paul Beardsley of Noisy Bird digital marketing agency, said that managing his time was his greatest challenge, there never seemed to be enough! Similarly, when Geoff started Discover Double Bass as an online bass tutor, he found that he had to fulfil all the usual roles of a company himself, be it administration, marketing, PR for example, inevitably taking time away from doing what he loved.

Geoff Chalmers – Founder, Discover Double Bass

Time management is a common struggle for young businesses. Working from home can be full of distractions and as Kelly, co-founder of Experience Engine expressed, she simply needed an office space to separate work and personal time. Beam Works offers a professional, but relaxed environment, an easy place to work in, collaborate and succeed.

Kelly Armstrong – Co-Founder, Experience Engine

We genuinely see our shared studio as the heart of Castleton Mill and it has already inspired us to create further flexible work space for businesses during our next phase of development in 2018.

Mark from ISO Photographic  says ‘Developing contacts and networking is an essential part of any business and the great thing about being at the mill is that I have a customer base right here’. Mark, like the other businesses and freelancers in the mill, enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with and work for a number of creative agencies based at Castleton Mill.


Mark Wheelright – Director at ISO Photographic

Starting up any business is a huge personal challenge, but with the right amount of support and passion, it can be an amazing, unforgettable adventure. Gary, our resident CG artist, founded Gecko Studios Ltd simply to have the freedom to make his own choices on the direction of his work and his career and has never looked back.

At Castleton Mill, we understand that launching a creative business is a journey. Our aim is to support our community in the best way we can. Beam Works provides a home for sociable folk looking for affordable space to grow their enterprise. If and when you are ready to move away from shared space and into your own studio, you have first refusal on our small studios spaces when they become available.

If you are thinking about joining our community at Castleton Mill, then Beam Works could be the place for you. You’ll be enjoying a wonderfully diverse community, alongside Hannah Lauren, Milliner and Maker who simply wanted to find a space to work alongside like-minded inspiring people and Carly, Head of Conferences for Encore Media Group Ltd, who chose Beam Works because she liked the community and friendly atmosphere. So yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Carly Whittle – Head of Conferences at Encore Media Group

We have deliberately capped our Beam Works community to 12 wonderful entrepreneurs to ensure theres physical and headspace in the studio, plenty of room for great things to happen and strong relationships to form. If you would like to find out more about our creative shared studio at Castleton Mill and feel inspired to join our community of designers, producers, event managers, photographers, animators, milliners, illustrators and foodies, we would love to hear from you!

We welcome freelancers to the Mill every Friday so come and check us out for free or even better book in for a viewing and tell us your story. Just email [email protected] to arrange a time!

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