A specialist business hub launched to help ambitious new businesses has helped deliver a £19 million cash boost for the district economy in just seven years.
An Impact Report looking at the success of Harborough Innovation Centre (HIC), owned by Harborough District Council (HDC), has revealed the facility has helped create a total of 796 jobs across 122 companies since its launch.
Developed by HDC, it has been a hub of innovation and enterprise in the district and is currently home to 69 companies. In the first seven years since opening in 2011, £19.3 million has been created through the centre for the local economy.
Leader of Harborough District Council Neil Bannister said: “The Innovation Centre continues to make a hugely positive impact on this district offering on-hand business support to ensure new businesses and entrepreneurial projects can grow and prosper.”
Since its launch, 54 businesses have grown into bigger offices in the region.
As part of exciting plans for the future of the facility, a new ‘Grow On Space’ is set to be added later this year at Compass Point Business Park, helping more businesses to expand and employ more staff. The addition will bring an extra £20 million into the Harborough economy over five years.
Neil O’Brien, Member of Parliament for Harborough, said: “The Innovation Centre plays a key role across the Harborough business community. It is home to a range of highly innovative businesses which have created a number of well-paid and highly-skilled jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone involved in making the Centre such a success, and wish them all the best for the next seven years.”
Jo Stevens, managing director of Oxford Innovation, which manages the centre, said: “The impact Harborough Innovation Centre has had on the local economy cannot be underestimated. It has transformed the way the district does business.
“Ambitious entrepreneurs now have a place to turn their dreams into reality. Our partnership with HDC has resulted in local talent being kept in Harborough, rather than being lost to Leicester or Rugby, and the whole district is benefitting as a result.”
Harborough Innovation Centre provides targeted and tailored business support through strategic coaching and mentoring by business growth experts.
High-performance consultancy Sporting Edge moved into Harborough Innovation Centre on opening day in 2011 and has been there ever since.
Owner Jeremy Snape, a former international cricketer, said: “Having a professional place where you can host clients, where people can park, eat in the restaurant, and there are meeting rooms is invaluable. We also use a number of services providers from HIC and it’s a lively hub for people to collaborate. We use web and brand design, legal support, promotional materials and exhibition manufacturers, so it’s been very helpful.”
An informal networking breakfast was held on Friday, March 8, to celebrate the launch of the seven-year Impact Report and hear from businesses who have benefitted from being based at HIC.