A £5.8milllion innovation centre in Leicester has attracted 24 new hi-tech businesses in its first year.
Leicester’s Dock, based on a new enterprise park close to the National Space Centre at Pioneer Park, opened in October 2013. It has already met its second year targets, by having tenants for 28 of its 54 units across a mix of office, light commercial and laboratory workspaces.
Twelve new jobs and seven graduate placements have also been created at Dock in its first year.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said, “We want Dock to act as a catalyst for the development of an innovation and technology hub at Pioneer Park.”
“The centre’s first successful year, and the obvious demand for space for hi-tech businesses to set-up and grow in, are encouraging signs for the future of this important industry sector in Leicester”.
Ellipse Energy was one of the first companies to move into Dock. The company specialises in helping homes, communities and businesses save money, reduce carbon and develop sustainable sources of energy.
Managing director Cuan Forrest said, “Since moving into Dock 12 months ago we have secured orders in excess of £1.4milllion, tripling our annual turnover.”
“We have been able to create two new full-time and two part-time jobs. We have recently incorporated a sister company, ‘4M Energy Saving’, and created an additional two new posts there.”
“Our growth aspirations for the next year should allow us to create another five new roles.”
“Dock has provided much more than office space. The business support, workshops and networking events have provided valuable training, information and contacts to help us develop our business further”.
New start-up Innotech Resourcing – a specialist technology recruitment business, recently joined the growing business community at Dock.
Managing director Keith Holmes said, “Dock is ideally located to deliver our service across the UK. There is a wealth of talent and entrepreneurship at Dock and that has helped create an environment that encourages business to collaborate and bounce ideas around.”
“The team here has been superb in their support for business during its early stages. Being part of this dynamic community will be an inspiration through the exciting times ahead”.
Dock was named as the Regeneration Project of the Year at last year’s RICS (Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors) awards.
The building has also been shortlisted in the ‘sustainable development of the year’ category at the ProCon Leicestershire 2014 Awards.
Dock is supported by £1.9million from the European Regional Development Fund and £294,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency.