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Harborough Innovation Centre welcomes first Occupiers

Harborough Innovation Centre, designed as a hub for local businesses to launch, innovate and grow, has welcomed its first occupiers this week. Four companies have moved into office premises at the Centre and one of the businesses is Sporting Edge which was set up by former Leicestershire and England cricketer Jeremy Snape.

The £4.2m Innovation Centre, located at the gateway entrance to the new Airfield Business Park, is the largest single development project undertaken by Harborough District Council in recent times and is poised to make a significant impact on commerce in the town.

Designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, reflecting its important sustainability credentials, the Centre provides 52 offices, eight studios and meeting rooms together with catering facilities and a business centre.

A formal ceremony was held in June to mark the handover of the building by developer William Davis Ltd to Harborough District Council and the appointment of Oxford Innovation as manager.

Companies joining the Centre will benefit from flexible letting arrangements and a range of support through Oxford Innovation including funding assistance through business angel investment networks, networking events and mentoring.

The first occupiers are:

• Sporting Edge was established in 2005 and delivers performance coaching for leaders and teams in professional sport and high pace, high pressure market sectors. Their clients include Premiership footballers and the League Managers Association, The International Cricket Council and Cricket South Africa, as well as large corporates such as BT, RBS and Deloitte.

• Broderick Projects, a specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of Mechanical Drive Systems for use by major mining, steel, engineering and paper production firms.

• RMLC Associates offers a full range of accountancy, taxation and book-keeping services for small businesses.

• Intali is a commercial property development agency. Intali represents a range of national and local house builders, commercial developers and local authorities, advising on site acquisition, development and sale, and specialises in providing economic viability assessments for both the private and public sectors.

Oxford Innovation manages a network of 20 business and innovation centres across the country, providing office and laboratory space for more than 500 businesses. They include four other centres in the East Midlands region at Wellingborough and Nottinghamshire.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Michael Rook, said: “It is wonderful to see Harborough Innovation Centre attracting new and growing local businesses. Their success is vital to the future prosperity of our local economy.”

Centre manager, Mick Judge, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first clients to Harborough Innovation Centre and we are now starting to establish a thriving community of entrepreneurs here. We have been very pleased by the response to promotion of the Centre and continue to have a strong pipeline of enquiries with another company already scheduled to move in by early September.”

Director of Sporting Edge, Jeremy Snape, read about the Innovation Centre in the Harborough Mail. He said: “It’s been really exciting to see Sporting Edge expanding and we have recently been exploring various options for local offices. We decided to move to the Innovation Centre as it offers professional and flexible premises in a good location which will support the next stage of our growth.”

Managing director of Broderick Projects, Kelvin Broderick, has been looking for serviced office premises in the Market Harborough area for a number of years and is delighted that the Innovation Centre is now open for business. He said: “The centre is of a very high standard, with friendly and professional staff, and caters for my every need, enabling me to concentrate on running my business efficiently.”

Managing director of Inali, Adam Burdett, has followed the development of the Innovation Centre since its inception. He said: “Although I was aware of the concept I was not expecting the quality of accommodation and service that have been delivered. I am delighted to have secured an office in what I am certain will be a hugely successful project for both Harborough District Council and Oxford Innovation.”
It is estimated that the Innovation Centre project will bring approximately 180 jobs to the area. The project partners are: Harborough District Council; William Davis Ltd; East Midlands Development Agency (emda); European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Prospect Leicestershire.

Building work began in August 2010 after the project received funding to the value of £4m through the ERDF and emda’s Sub Regional Investment Programme (SRIP). Developer William Davis contributed complementary work space as part of the project to the value of £1m and Harborough District Council added £200,000 and will own the building.

Companies interested in finding out more about the Innovation Centre should contact Mick Judge, Centre Manager, tel: 01858 414200 or email:

Editors Notes
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director, Oxford Innovation.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 261491 Email:

Photo available on request
L-R: Sporting Edge owner Jeremy Snape, founder of RMLC Associates Chris Partridge, assistant manager of Harborough Innovation Centre Liza Menzies, Intali managing director Adam Burdett and Harborough Innovation Centre manager Mick Judge. (photo: Andrew Carpenter)

About Harborough Innovation Centre
Harborough Innovation Centre provides 52 offices, eight studios and meeting rooms, together with catering facilities and a business centre. The Innovation Centre is prominently located at the entrance to the Airfield Business Park, on Harborough Road, Market Harborough, with easy access from the A14, M1 and M6 and is served by a regular bus route.
Office premises are available in a range of unit sizes from 170 – 990 sq ft on flexible licence agreements so that tenants are free of any long-term letting commitments. The centre also offers a virtual office service for entrepreneurs that require a professional address and telephone answering service. For more information:

About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation is a leading operator of business and innovation centres that provide office and laboratory space to companies throughout the UK. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business planning advice, coaching and mentoring. Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful investment networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2m. For more information:

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions and associated companies include SQW, a leading provider of research, analysis and advice on sustainable economic and social development solutions to the public and private sectors, and SQW China, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to China and the international market. For more information:

About the Harborough Innovation Centre project
Full planning permission was granted for the centre on March 16, 2010, by Harborough District Council’s planning committee.

Sub Regional Investment Plan (SRIP) – The HIC is one of a number of projects being delivered as the result of a unique new partnership between local authorities, businesses and other organisations across Leicester and Leicestershire that aims to drive economic growth.

Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council have formed an economic alliance that includes all the district councils. A multi area agreement has been approved by the Government, with a vision of improving standards of living for everyone in the area.

A Leadership Board has been created to make strategy and funding decisions, guided by detailed information about local economic conditions. It includes representatives from local authorities, private sector and major funding agencies emda and the Homes and Communities Agency.

A new economic development company, Prospect Leicestershire, has been launched to bring together responsibility for regeneration and inward investment.
Innovation Centre – funding breakdown
HDC - £0.2m
emda - £4.048m (via ERDF - £1.689m and SRIP - £2.359m)
Total- £4.248
WD - additional business space to value of £1m.

About ERDF nationally
The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development. The ERDF objectives for England are:
• Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
• Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
• Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
• Building sustainable communities
• Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only – as part of their Convergence Programme)

A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region.
For more information: or

About ERDF in the East Midlands
The East Midlands is eligible for €268.5m between 2007 and 2013, which when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately €537m – a significant investment in the economic development of the region.

The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU’s Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.’

East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is responsible for the programme management and delivery of the region’s 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme. From 1 July 2011, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will take on management of ERDF in the East Midlands. For more information:

About emda
East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine regional development agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development. Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has had a significant impact on the region's economy; generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs; put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every £1 it spends and produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year and had a wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.

The Government has announced that the Regional Development Agencies will be abolished by March 2012. During this transition period, emda continues to make best use of its resources to create a strong, sustainable and balanced economy in the East Midlands. For more information,
Leicestershire County Council is also supporting the HIBC project.

William Davis Ltd was founded in 1935 and remains a privately owned company in the property and construction industry. The company’s activities encompass private homes, partnerships, commercial, industrial and retail properties, regeneration, land and land planning, refurbishment and civil engineering. This breadth of activity has been matched by a carefully planned growth in the company’s geographical area of operation, which covers an area of approximately a 100 mile radius, from its headquarters in Loughborough, Leicestershire. For more information:

Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 261491

Company profile of Oxford Innovation
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