Spenbeck is an award-winning family business specialising in providing bespoke and inclusive creative offices in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter.


With environmental sustainability at its core, the company works closely with tenants to develop Environmental Management System requirements, helping to achieve and maintain both B Corp and ISO 14001 certifications, the highest standards for those who effectively manage environmental responsibilities.


The listed properties date from the 19th century and are in conservation areas, making energy improvements particularly challenging. Spenbeck wanted to take the opportunity to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy measures as rented spaces become empty at change of tenancy. Help in learning how to sensitively deep retrofit heritage buildings to meet net zero targets was needed.

The Birkin Building, home to creative space in the heart of Nottingham's Lace Market


The Energy Innovation and Collaboration team arranged a student placement through the ‘Energy for Business’ scheme. Anousha Bhugun, a student at the University of Nottingham studying for an MSc in Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship, was keen to gain experience to further her ambitions to work in the sector. She joined Spenbeck as a Sustainable Strategy Intern in September 2020.

Anousha worked alongside company directors to design and implement a sustainability plan. She investigated the opinions of tenants, engaging them in the process and identifying key challenges, such as a need for better heating and a desire for alternative recycling schemes. She designed a contractor pre-qualifying questionnaire to help embed sustainability along Spenbeck’s supply chain and promote a circular economy and co-created a food waste composting partnership with local charity Stonebridge City Farm. Anousha also conducted an environmental impact assessment related to work on the Grade II listed Birkin Building after it was successful in attracting funding to reinstate original historic features lost due to weathering and aging. 


As well as benefiting from support through the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team in the production of a 7-year sustainability business plan based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, relationships with stakeholders have been strengthened and the brand value and reputation enhanced through the demonstration of commitment to sustainable values and alignment with Nottingham City plans to become carbon neutral by 2028.

Becky Valentine, Co-owner and lead on sustainability, wellbeing and building health at Spenbeck said, “As a micro-SME with very limited resources and capacity, the student placement was key to driving forward our sustainability agenda.  Anousha brought with her a wealth of sustainability knowledge and a genuine interest and motivation to help us succeed.  Her initiative meant that we were able to achieve far more than set out in the project brief.  Working with both Anousha and the Energy Innovation and Collaboration Team has been instrumental in helping Spenbeck work towards its sustainability objectives.”  


Spenbeck received support from the University as part of Energy for Business. Delivered by the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Contact the Energy Innovation and Collaboration team for an informal chat about the support on offer.

Phone: +44 (0) 115 7484969