Square Stone Media

Square Stone Media is a video production company specialising in strategic digital content for STEM sector organisations. The company was founded by filmmakers and STEM advocates Dominic Rees-Roberts and Richard Grebby. Richard is a Man of Kent having been born and bred in Ashford and Dominic moved to Ashford from west London in 2015 in search of affordable housing and a greener setting in which raise his young children.

Richard says, ‘having close ties to London without the overheads of running a studio in London, meant that I could grow a business here and have a much larger physical space to work in. Combine that with other local companies that think the same, I’ve grown a photography and video production business where I can help local businesses expand.’

‘Ashford has offered the best of both worlds in that we are still able to access the London market as well as benefiting from regional business.’

Dominic Rees-Roberts , Square Stone Media

The company works with a diverse range of academic institutions, research organisations and tech companies from a broad variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines. They love creating content and telling stories about science and engineering, helping organisations raise awareness of their work and reach key audiences. Services cover everything from internal communications to market positioning and community outreach activities. Recent work includes a large series of videos promoting Equality Diversity and Inclusion in the industrial decarbonisation sector.

The creative sector is thriving in Kent, and Ashford’s central location is very attractive for being able to readily connect to and access key skills and services. Of course, being so close to London is a bonus, but Dominic and Richard are discovering that there’s a brilliant community of creatives on their doorstep. They say ‘the ability to easily meet up, share ideas and collaborate is really exhilarating. We’re also fortunate to have some of the country’s biggest STEM organisations based in Kent, and being able to work with clients in close proximity not only creates stronger partnerships but is also better for the planet’. They have also benefited from a number of government projects aimed at growing the creative industries in the region and were fortunate enough to participate in the Hi3 Network, a programme designed to give creative businesses like Square Stone Media the opportunity to explore new emerging digital technologies and collaborate with academic researchers.

Richard films a fuel combustion test chamber at a research centre in South Wales

In Ashford, there’s a strong business community and a real sense of pride and passion for the town. Being based in the centre of town they have quickly come to know the friendly business owners and within a short walking distance have a diverse range of restaurants and bars, with plenty for families to do as well. They are excited by the prospect of working within the town to set up initiatives to support local economic growth and there are a whole host of local organisations they are looking forward to collaborating with.

The team are very excited by the potential for growth Ashford offers Square Stone Media. They see opportunities with the new college to bring fresh talent into the skills chain, and to share their knowledge with the next generation of creatives. They have already seen the new Jasmin Vardimon Company open its doors bring vibrant creative productions into the heart of Kent. The proposed Ashford International Film Studio promises to further establish the town as a major creative hub which would be a huge boost to companies like theirs. They find it very inspiring to think they could be part of a larger filmmaking ecosystem in the near future. They think Ashford’s other strategic projects, such as the Town Centre Reset, will have a very positive impact on the town, providing more exciting reasons to come into the town centre and drive economic growth.

Square Stone Media founders Dominic Rees Roberts and Richard Grebby

The team appreciate Ashford Borough Council’s support and say ‘One of the most impressive aspects of Ashford Borough Council’s business support is the scale of ambition they have for the town. There are many large development projects in the pipeline that have the potential to move the dial on Ashford’s prospects. At a more granular level the Council is a great champion of local business and has many schemes aimed at supporting business growth. Some of these are financial, such as the Town Centre Business grant to help local businesses improve their premises. Other initiatives are knowledge based, such as the Scale Up programme which gives access to an experienced business coach and sets your business up for growth. We have been fortunate to participate in the Scale Up programme and can testify to its success’.