Our Story

CRATE is led by a management team of serial entrepreneurs with a mission to build a collaborative and inspiring network of vibrant business communities.

In April 2017, the first CRATE scheme was built by Grangewood Investments in an industrial estate in Loughton, Essex. It opened with a far more diverse group of entrepreneurs than envisaged, winning awards for originality. Fuelled by the opportunity to roll-out the emerging CRATE concept to the many communities up and down the UK who lack workplaces that support success, CRATE Places UK was formed and purchased the CRATE IP and original concept from Grangewood Investments.

Costa at CRATE Loughton

Great things happen when we think differently.

CRATE Places UK has set about building a diverse leadership team who share a passion for entrepreneurship and supporting the development of UK small businesses. Together they have raised investment finance and advanced the CRATE product and digital business support platform and now deliver services to entrepreneurs, local authorities and regeneration developers. A second CRATE scheme opened in Walthamstow, east London, in June 2019 and is helping re-define urban regeneration and the renewal of the high street.

Over the next seven years the CRATE team plan to launch 20 CRATE schemes, supporting 1,000 businesses.

CRATE Loughton, Essex, owned and operated by Grangewood Investments.

Our board

John Walker

Chief Executive and Co-founder, CRATE Places UK Ltd

John has grown and exited businesses in financial services, technology and consultancy sectors. Since 2008 he has supported the training, development and investment of small businesses in the UK and around the world.

Phil Barrable

Operations Director

Phil has 20 years’ experience in project management, financial services and construction and has run his own housebuilding company. He is a champion for sustainable construction methods.

Ben Cunningham

Finance Director

CRATE’s accountancy provider Cunningham and Cunningham performs a fractional finance director role. Ben has held various finance director roles across sectors and now advises a diverse small business base.