A HISTORIC Southampton building is home to scores of businesses from manufacturers to a YouTuber with more than a million subscribers.

Business South, which runs Solent Business Centre, held an open day to show the range of firms operating from the former seed warehouse.

The Millbrook building dates from the 1930s and was originally the warehouse of Toogood and Sons. The firm described itself as the “King’s seedmen” and had a pipeline running from the building to Southampton docks.

Today, the site is owned by Southampton City Council and operated by Business South as a space for growing businesses.

Kevin Muldoon, enterprise manager for Business South, said many people knew the building but not what went on there.

He said 93 out of 97 units are now occupied. The list of tenants includes light engineering businesses, a roof rack fitter, a tattooist, two chiropractors, an aromatherapist and a financial services company catering for Polish speakers.

“What we’ve tried to do today is bring it to life what we’ve got here,” he said.

“It’s not just business, it’s local business. Nine times out of 10 these are local businesses.”

YouTuber James Bruton has 1.13million subscribers to the YouTube channel where he shares his inventions, designs and maker advice.

He showed some of his creations at the open day, including a cardboard e-bike, an “omni-wheel” bike whose front wheel can move in multiple directions and a “ball wheel omni-directional vehicle”.

He has worked in IT and the toy industry and has been making YouTube videos since around 2010.

“I’ve been a full-time YouTuber since 2019,” he said.

Craig Monk is a CAD (computer aided design) and 3D printing consultant through his business CRM CAD, and also retails 3D printers as 3D Print Monkey.

He said of the centre: “From a business point of view, it’s got it right. It’s very competitively priced and the management team are very helpful and you connect with other businesses.”

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, chief executive of Business South, said: “We provide a service here for the small business that might not always be quite the right fit for other offices. This is very affordable and we bring that community so they learn from each other and connect with each other.

“We’ve looked after it for 15-20 years and have kept the model the same whereby they’re not tied into expensive long contracts. It’s an easy-in, easy-out situation and it’s affordable. The team here are fantastic.”

Freemantle councillor David Shields said the building was a good example of keeping trade local. “It’s the Southampton pound,” he said.

“I think it’s important we grow a lot more of our own and these places are vital for that.”