ArtDECL is an exciting new arts-based business incubator managed by the Darebin Enterprise Centre Ltd (DECL).

The concept of the facility is based on the highly successful and internationally recognised small business incubation program developed by DECL.

ArtDECL’s business incubation program is specifically targeted at business working within the creative and digital arts fields. The incubator is located in Northcote, just outside of Melbourne.

The program offers clients:

• Office space
• A professional address
• Clerical services
• Networking opportunities with other client business
• Business support and mentoring through the business incubation program
• Access to meeting conference room and fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities

“ArtDECL’s prime objective is to support start-up and growing businesses, offering affordable space and intensive support and mentoring.” Sofia Dam

How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?

ArtDecl was established in 2010 after two years of extensive planning. The Darebin Enterprise Centre in conjunction with the City of Darebin refurbished the former Northcote Police Station in James Street to utilise as business incubator office spaces. Northcote is well-known for being a hub of creativity just out of Melbourne, providing an inspirational location for the businesses in residence.

The concept of ArtDECL builds upon the highly successful and internationally recognised Darebin Enterprise Centre- with the main focus and mission of the facility to assist newly established digital arts business during the critical initial growth phase.

This project has received support from both the City of Darebin and local community. The facility itself has the capacity to accommodate up to twelve client businesses and provides critical services such as financial management, clerical services, marketing planning, networking opportunities and legal/ governance knowledge.


What was required to secure the space?

 ArtDECL is situated in the former Northcote Police Station. The building was purchased from the State Government by the City of Darebin with the assistance of funding from Arts Victoria.

What needed to be provided by you as hirer or user of the space?

 Refurbishment of the building.

What were the costs?

 Approximately $200,000.

What were the resources available to you?

 Arts Victoria provided $600,000 towards the purchase and refurbishment.

Who helped you to fit it out?

 The City of Darebin undertook the refurbishment and fit out.

What were/are the obstacles?

The building has a heritage overlay so it was important that all refurbishment works were in keeping with the overlay requirements.

What were/are the risks?

There were elements of risks in ensuring the facility attracted client businesses in the Creative and Digital Art sectors.