York St John University’s Enterprise Centre Fuels Creative Business Growth with Hijinks Studios Launch

A group of York St John University graduates have launched an exciting new business venture, Hijinks Studios, with the support of the University’s Enterprise Centre. Specialising in bespoke animated content, Hijinks Studios promises to bring a fun and engaging style to clients in York and beyond.

The Enterprise Centre, located on the University’s main Lord Mayor’s Walk campus, was established two years ago to provide free office space and ongoing support for fledgling businesses.

The Centre offers access to academic expertise, including coaching and mentoring workshops from York Business School, and support with digital marketing, growth planning, finance skills, and bid writing. Uniquely connected to the regional business support landscape, the Enterprise Centre is run in partnership with the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, part of the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Hijinks Studios, the latest occupant of the Centre, is the brainchild of Harry Stockdale. After working as an animator in Hull, Harry decided to further his skills and professional network by enrolling in York St John’s Animation BA (Hons) course. Now, in 2024, Harry and four of his Class of 2023 course mates are using their new home at the Enterprise Centre to launch their first commissions as professional animators.

Harry Stockdale said, “Being postgraduates, we chose to base Hijinks at the Enterprise Centre because of the strong support network we already had at the university. This came both from our previous lecturers with animation support, and then later from Emma at the Centre with more specialised business support. Thanks to the first year of free office space and access to animation software, we can start our business without the stress and concern for large expenses.”

With its burgeoning arts and digital economy, Harry sees York as the ideal place to start a business.

“With York beginning to develop its creative industries, we thought it would be best to start and base the company here, to hopefully be at the forefront of this developing industry. We believe York has a gap in the market when it comes to digital 2D animation studios, so the aim of our studio is to fill this gap and bring a greater and varied animation presence to York.”

Emma Rollason-Taylor, Enterprise Centre Manager, expressed her enthusiasm for the new addition, “We’re really pleased to welcome the Hijinks Studios team and their creative energy. They’re joining us at an ideal time as we build the creative community here at the Centre. We’re also the home of NODE, which supports micro creative businesses, so they will have great networking opportunities on the ground too.”

For more information about The Enterprise Centre at York St John University visit: yorksj.ac.uk/business-support/enterprise-centre/

Picture of Emma Rollason-Taylor

Meet Emma

I’m Emma Rollason-Taylor, one of the Business Relationship Managers here at the Growth Hub.

I manage the Enterprise Centre based at York St John University, and I specialise in supporting start-ups to take their first steps in the tech, digital and creative sectors here in York.

Here at the Enterprise Centre, we offer co-working or virtual office space (meaning you can use our premises as a registered business address) to start-ups.

By joining us at the Enterprise Centre, you’ll become part of a friendly community of innovative early-stage businesses, all doing cutting-edge work.

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