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 that offer great value for money.

In April 2017, the first CRATE scheme opened in an industrial estate in Loughton, Essex, to a diverse group of entrepreneurs, winning awards for originality. Fuelled by the opportunity to roll-out the CRATE concept to the many communities up and down the UK who lack workplaces that support success, Adam Walker and John Walker (not related) founded CRATE Places UK and purchased the CRATE IP from Grangewood Investments, CRATE Loughton’s owners.

Costa at CRATE Loughton

Great things happen when we think differently.

Adam and John have been joined by a diverse leadership team who share a passion for entrepreneurship and supporting the development of small businesses. Together they have advanced the CRATE product and digital business support platform and now deliver services to entrepreneurs, local authorities and regeneration developers. CRATE’s second scheme opened in Walthamstow, east London, in June 2019 and is helping re-define urban development 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

Chairman, 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.

Adam Walker

Business Development Director and CRATE Places UK Co-founder

Adam has a heritage in hospitality and construction, where he has developed businesses in the UK and the Caribbean. In 2016 while employed at Grangewood Investments, he led the team that designed and built the first CRATE scheme.

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.