How Two Birds flew the nest after a successful start at Harborough Innovation Centre

March 19th 2018

What happens when you mix a knack for engineering with a love of all things gin? Just ask Mark Gamble, co-founder of the award-winning spirits brand, Two Birds. Born from Mark and Lyn’s home-based distillery in Market Harborough, Two Birds is now a nationally renowned business, creating a fine and eclectic array of gins, vodkas and absinthes. Union Distillers creates a number of top-quality spirits for some of the best independent retailers in the country along with its own Two Birds brand.

 

After creating his first successful gin, which won Top Gold Award at the Craft Distillers Alliance within just two months of production, Mark needed a base for his ever-growing enterprise. Living locally to Harborough Innovation Centre, organising a viewing was an easy decision, and Mark knew immediately that HIC would provide the ideal incubator for his new business.

As one of the first occupants at Harborough District Council’s new innovation centre, Mark found being based at HIC paramount to getting the business off the ground in its early stages. The flexibility of a license with just one month’s notice period gave the company the ability to grow and change without being tied down. As a small team, the on-site reception was immensely helpful, knowing that calls and deliveries will be handled no matter who was in the office at the time.

 

“The best thing about the centre is how convenient and uncomplicated everything is. You can come and go as you please, reception is always on-hand to answer the phone, and there are so many networking opportunities. You can so easily interact with your neighbouring companies – it’s no different to your neighbours on the street.”

Mark Gamble - Founder of Two Birds

Two Birds moved rapidly from the smallest office in Harborough Innovation Centre to the biggest. Within 18 months the company was ready to graduate to a 3000sq ft distillery in Market Harborough, now complete with its own gin-making workshop, open to the public.

In just under five years, Two Birds and Union Distillers have grown exponentially, from producing a few boxes of gin a week to shipping out pallets-full of different spirits to retailers all over the UK. Though the business has moved on, Two Birds still has a virtual membership at HIC to handle phone calls when the distillery is busy. Based on their incredible success, Mark recommends the centre to any start-up business looking for a professional and flexible launch pad to get their business up-and-running.

“Two Birds are a testament to how much an Innovation Centre like ours can really nurture a business from that initial spark of an idea to a full-scale, nationally-renowned business. They made fantastic use of our flexibility, moving from our smallest office to our biggest in just 18 months! We’re really proud to be part of their journey."

Liza Menzies – Centre Manager

Harborough Innovation Centre is owned and supported by Harborough District Council (HDC). As the building owner HDC also funds the Centre's business support provision, providing the basis for expert business advice, mentoring and workshops. 

June 14th 2019

Heritage settles in to HIC

One of our Pioneer 10 competitors, Heritage Archaeology, has now moved into the centre, and is looking to grow after what has been a successful first year in business.

May 17th 2019

IFA moves onwards and upwards

After four years at HIC, Intelligent Financial Advisory (IFA) has moved on. The team has performed so well in that time that it has finally outgrown the centre, and has taken on new offices of its own in Lutterworth.

April 15th 2019

Recruitment guru wins Harborough district business award

Caroline Hunt, of Emerald Starfish, was named the winner of the latest Pioneer 10, an awards programme funded by Harborough District Council and run out of the Harborough Innovation Centre (HIC).