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Co-working hub offers new space for creative north-east talent

By David Porter

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Mark Kemp of brand and digital agency FortyTwo Studio
Mark Kemp of brand and digital agency FortyTwo Studio

An Aberdeen design agency owner has thrown open the doors on his plan to encourage young creative talent to stay in the north-east of Scotland.

Mark Kemp of brand and digital agency FortyTwo Studio has moved into 35 Mid Stocket Road in Aberdeen and unveiled his plans for a co-working hub for the creative industries.

Alongside two refurbished self-contained spaces for like-minded businesses, the building will host a photography studio available for hire as well as acting as a creative base for young people starting out in the industry.

“I see this as our solid commitment to advancing the region’s creative impact,” said Mark.

“Called simply 35, it is a co-working hub for the creative industries.

"It’s a place to let established practitioners, start-ups and students nurture their businesses and careers.

“New clients at FortyTwo and an expanding team meant a move was on the cards for the business.

"However, I also saw an opportunity to lay the foundations for a more collaborative creative community.

“We aim to support the next generation of talent by deepening our collaboration with universities and colleges.

"We want to show there is real scope to carve a career in the commercial creative sector in the north-east.

“By creating this collaborative hub, we can offer students real-life industry experience through projects and opportunities that build their individual areas of expertise.

“My motives aren’t entirely altruistic.

"FortyTwo has a vested interest in building the creative young talent in the region and this is the perfect way to play a part in doing that.”

Mark bought the former church hall at the end of 2019 although Covid meant the project was delayed.

However, following an internal refit by 1Call, Polka and CKG Joinery, the team moved from their Crown Street studio into their new home earlier this year.

Built in 1965, the architects of Beechgrove Church Hall were Mackie Ramsay Taylor Architects, who also designed Trinity Hall, the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen building on Holburn Street. Both have been described as fine examples of Brutalist architecture in Aberdeen.

Mark Kemp, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry, established FortyTwo Studio at the end of 2015 with the commitment to providing strategic brand and digital work.

The business employs 11 people and specialises in brand development and brand strategy, with high profile clients across Scotland including Aquascot, Upper Dysart Larder, Tinto, Outlaw Rum, RGU, Scotia Homes and Spirit Energy.

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