Inspiring Business by Sharing Success



Aristotle Financial Planning is the latest professional services business to take space at Friar Gate Studios, the flagship building of the Connect Derby managed workspace scheme.

The company was founded earlier this year by James Wallis, an independent and Chartered Financial Planner who has a decade’s experience in delivering financial advice and planning for clients across the East Midlands.

He specialises in working with small business owners and clients who are planning for retirement.

A Chartered Financial Planner, James is recognised as one of the best financial professionals in the UK and demonstrates the highest level of technical knowledge, coupled with a commitment to on-going development and adherence to ethical conduct.

James has established a strong reputation across the East Midlands and has plans to expand the business over the next six months with the addition of more support staff. In the longer term, he plans to begin training new financial planning talent.

At the turn of the year, Friar Gate Studios on Ford Street in Derby was given the go-ahead to make 30% of space available to businesses from across the creative industries supply chain in order to promote entrepreneurialism in the city.

Eligible businesses include professional services firms such as accountants, lawyers, financial services, and HR professionals, along with education and training companies.

Commenting on the decision to choose Friar Gate Studios as his new home, James, said:

“Friar Gate Studios is perfectly placed in the heart of the city and comes with a great package of support for small businesses, as well as a great community of businesses from a variety of sectors to work with and learn from.

“Although the current climate has been a challenging one, I’ve still been able to engage with clients and help lots of people plan their financial futures. I also hope to expand the business in 2021 and train and develop new financial talent.

“I look forward to growing my business in Friar Gate Studios and to helping clients match their life to their money.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:

“James is a great addition to the Connect Derby family, and we’re thrilled he’s taken advantage of the new tenancy rules that have allowed non-creative businesses to set up home at Friar Gate Studios.

“Friar Gate Studios is the perfect base for businesses who have been working from home and are now looking for flexible, low-cost office space.

We look forward to welcoming more businesses from a broad range of sectors and will continue to provide them with the support they need to flourish.”

The arrival of Friar Gate Studios to Derby in 2007 laid the foundations for what has become a hugely successful managed workspace sector in the city. The Studios comprise 41 modern offices ranging in size from 275 ft2 to 1190 ft2, with meeting and seminar rooms and the award-winning Bean Caffé.

Friar Gate Studios is one of seven buildings within the diverse Connect Derby portfolio alongside Sadler Bridge Studios, Kings Chambers, Shot Tower, Riverside Chambers, Marble Hall and the iHub innovation centre on Infinity Park.

The scheme provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to grow. Tenants enjoy superfast broadband, meeting rooms equipped with AV equipment, and 24/7 access.

Co-working services and virtual office services are also available. Connect Derby also operates a dedicated business support and mentoring programme.

A number of offices are currently available at Friar Gate Studios and can accommodate anything from a sole trader to larger expanding companies.

Details of available offices can be found at For further information, contact Sonia Kang on 01332 742500 or email


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