Over 40 businesses call it home, seven new businesses have been attracted to the area and 45 jobs created at Harborough Innovation Centre in 2013, a year which also saw companies based in the Centre expanding their expertise and launching 12 additional businesses.
Harborough Innovation Centre, owned by Harborough District Council and set up to generate growth and jobs in the district, is now home to everyone from designers and employment specialists to administrators and agronomists. The Centre exceeded all its targets last year and is now successfully retaining local talent and supporting economic growth.
Mick Judge, Senior Centre Manager, said: “We have a thriving community of businesses, who are choosing to stay in the Harborough district, are launching second companies, are safeguarding scores of jobs and creating many, many more.”
For agricultural biotech company, Agrinos UK, great transport links and a room with a view were just two reasons Harborough Innovation Centre became its home.
Managing Director Russell Sharp said: “We’re an organic fertilizer company producing biostimulants for the agricultural market and we have a UK team that deals with solving challenges on farms and research and development. We needed a base and a central administrative location and Harborough Innovation Centre fitted the bill.
“It’s professional, flexible and the shared facilities mean you don’t clutter your working space with printers, scanners or refreshment areas. Our office also has a great view of a farm, which for us was a particularly good feature.”
Director of Ink HR, Ruth Johnson, ran her HR business from a home office in Medbourne, but when the business expanded to include Ink Employee Benefits, run by Billy Johnson, and Ink started to take on staff, working from home became impractical. The business moves into Harborough Innovation Centre in February.
Ruth said: “The service that you get is what we were looking for. We don’t want to be bothered with all the nitty gritty that goes around maintaining premises or dealing with sometimes absent landlords. Harborough Innovation Centre is ready for business and that makes us ready for business.”
Based at the entrance to the district’s new Airfield Business Park, the centre is home to 53 offices and studios and is also a ‘virtual’ home to 19 local companies, which use the centre as a business address and access the centre’s hot desks, telephone answering service, meeting rooms and catering facilities as and when they need.
Harborough Innovation Centre is managed by Oxford Innovation, which operates a network of 21 business and innovation centres across the country, providing office and laboratory space for over 800 businesses and runs the Spark Harborough business support initiative for the district. Occupiers benefit from flexible letting arrangements and a range of support through Oxford Innovation, which includes funding assistance through business angel investment networks and high quality business coaching.
Leader of Harborough District Council, Councillor Blake Pain, added: "Harborough Innovation Centre is providing a much-needed base for new businesses, with all the support each one needs to survive and prosper. Innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the district can only continue to flourish.”
Call in and see the Centre for yourself. Or find out more by calling Senior Centre Manager Mick Judge or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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