Backhouse Trust seeks innovative thinkers to steer direction

With tenancy space proving hugely popular, Whanganui’s new centre for for innovation, creative industries, entrepreneurship and education needs new hands to guide its direction.

The Backhouse on Taupō Quay, a collaboration between Whanganui & Partners and UCOL Whanganui, is giving aspirational locals a space to explore new business opportunities, deliver projects and develop innovative ideas.

The Backhouse Trust currently consists of two appointed trustees; Gaelle Deighton representing Whanganui & Partners and Mark Cleaver on behalf of UCOL. The Trust is now seeking more trustees, from diverse backgrounds, who can help the initiative reach its potential as a centre for new ideas and business development.

“The potential for The Backhouse is huge,” Tim Easton, Whanganui & Partners Strategic Lead – Business says. “We know it’s essential to get the very best guidance on board to make sure that potential is met.”

The trustees will need to be motivated to see Whanganui thrive and have an interest in supporting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

The Backhouse has a growing list of forward-thinking tenants including 100% SWEET, the Port Employment Precinct, Te Mana Atatū, Chamber of Commerce and Confluence. Easton said interest in The Backhouse showed the high value of this type of collaborative space and the building’s remaining vacant areas were filling fast.

“The Trust is responsible for steering this venture in a progressive way,” Easton said. “It will be responsible for approving tenants that fit with the strategic vision of The Backhouse.

“We’re serious about building Whanganui’s strength as a centre for innovation and business development, we want people motivated to see success in this area and who support collaboration and engagement.”

Trustees will be appointed for an initial three-year period with the right of reappointment for a further two terms. The Trust is seeking applications to fill up to three positions, with additional appointments to be made at a later date.

Jasmine Groves, UCOL’s Executive Director for Business & Industry Partnership said that this was an exciting opportunity for both businesses and students.

“We’re keen to see trustees who have an interest in education and developing outcomes for this vibrant new hub,” Groves said. “The Backhouse is a chance to build relationships between entrepreneurs and education, and with the right people, we can help lead and nurture those connections.”

Jonathan Sykes, Acting Chief Executive at the economic development agency, said Whanganui & Partners was confident the trustee positions would be filled by highly capable people.

“The Backhouse needs trustees with sound business acumen and a desire to work strategically and collaboratively. Having strong personal, professional and community networks will ensure these trustees have the reach needed for this venture’s success.

“Whanganui has many people who fit this bill and the level of support and involvement in entrepreneurship from the business community builds confidence The Backhouse will gain inspiring trustees.”

Applications are open now.

Download the information pack

To apply, please forward your CV and Cover Letter to info@whanganuiandpartners.nz before 4pm on 18 November, 2021.

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