The EpiCentre in Haverhill, was opened at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries on Monday November 2nd.
Present at the opening of the innovation centre was Austen Adams Chairman of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board, Councillor John Griffiths the leader of West Suffolk Council and Nic Rumsey, managing director of developer Jaynic.
Already four companies have signed up to take space in the building and discussions are in hand with other potential occupiers.
Development of The EpiCentre was made possible with a £6.2m cash boost provided jointly through a £3.5m loan by West Suffolk Council and £2.7m of Local Growth Fund investment from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, to bring jobs and employment to Haverhill Research Park and its enterprise zone.
Business Board chairman Austen Adams said: “The EpiCentre is a brilliant example of an innovative project that will help to unlock the East of England’s growth potential by helping start-ups to thrive and create new jobs.
“High potential and innovative companies across the East have the power to be the catalyst for building back better and I think this is a great example of an investment that will pay dividends by helping drive inclusive local economic growth.
“I am really excited to learn more about the companies who will be occupying the Epicentre.”
Councillor John Griffiths said: “It is great to see the EpiCentre, which is about creating job opportunities, increasing skills and new opportunities especially for young people in and around Haverhill, finished and ready to use. Four businesses have already signed up which shows business confidence in what we are all trying to achieve, and we hope more will soon follow. I would like to thank all those involved for making this ambitious ambition a reality for Haverhill, West Suffolk and the region.”
Jaynic managing director Nic Rumsey, said : “I would like to thank the combined authority and West Suffolk Council for their unwavering moral and financial support that has made this development possible and look forward to seeing this becoming a thriving centre for the benefit of the wider community.”
Tim Smith, deputy managing director of Oxford Innovation, the operator of The EpiCentre, said: “We are off to a flying start with four companies already signed up and more in the pipeline for this superb facility, which will become a prime business hub for entrepreneurs and fast growing companies in the surrounding area.”
The new 30,000 sq ft four-storey EpiCentre is located adjacent to the Spirit of Enterprise roundabout creating a prominent ‘landmark’ building at the entrance into Haverhill.
The EpiCentre has over 60 office suites available from 17sqm (172 sqft) up to 78sqm (840sqft) including three flexible shared purpose-built laboratory spaces with access to specialist equipment, together with conference and meetings rooms, training facilities and a ‘work-hub’ area for shared working.
These suites are available for pre-let immediately, and are supplemented by communal breakout spaces, a café, and meeting and conference rooms.
Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres with 26 managed facilities around the British Isles. An integral part of its offer is innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business planning advice, coaching and mentoring. It also manages investment networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2m.