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High number of pre-lets at Canterbury Innovation Centre

1 December 2009

Canterbury Innovation Centre is now open for business and its launch is marked today at a key handover ceremony. The Centre, funded by £7.3m from South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), has opened with over a third of space already let to innovative local businesses.

The Centre will connect high growth, high tech businesses with academic expertise to help drive innovation and entrepreneurship. 25,000sqft (2,300sqm) of office, studio and workshop space designed to support business start-ups is available. It is expected to create 2,000 jobs and support 800 new businesses in the future.

The Centre, which is managed by leading business centre specialist, Basepoint, is the first building on the wider science park based on the University of Kent campus. Developed in partnership with East Kent Spatial Development Company (EKSDC) to the highest environmental standards, it has achieved an Excellent BREEAM rating. Sustainable design elements include photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting, SUDS and biomass boiler within a sensitive topographical site design.

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA said: “We are proud that our £7.3m investment has produced an exemplary building to connect local universities to innovative new high growth businesses. It will provide a superb hub in which technology-rich companies can establish, diversifying the business base in East Kent and benefiting from knowledge and skills transfer to enable them to go global fast. These are the types of businesses which SEEDA is supporting to drive the South East - and the UK - out of recession and back into sustainable growth and prosperity.”

Cllr John Gilbey, Chair of EKSDC and Leader of Canterbury City Council, said: "It is vital that new business opportunities in sectors not sufficiently represented in East Kent are actively pursued and promoted. The location within and closely allied to the University of Kent combined with the expertise of Basepoint, provides the perfect launch pad for the development of new technology enterprise. This point marks a significant departure from our traditional business profiles and represents a fantastic opportunity. While gaining all these advantages we also have the opportunity to admire the practicalities of a magnificent building."

Professor Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: "The Innovation Centre is an integral part of the University's strategy to support the local economy and to encourage innovation and enterprise, making the region more attractive for graduates to stay and work locally.”

Jo Clark, Basepoint’s Centre Manager, said: “Although in its infancy, the Centre is already attracting a variety of businesses that fit the criteria of innovation and technology. Within the first month of opening, 35 out of the 85 units available have already been occupied, a huge achievement considering the current economic climate. We look forward to developing the Centre and creating an exciting new business community here.”

For more information about taking space at Canterbury Innovation Centre, please contact Basepoint on 0800 197 3494 or visit the website: www.canterburyinnovationcentre.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jessica Stewart, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501307
Email: jessicastewart@seeda.co.uk

View full media release here.

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155