News - 05 June 2013

Jobs boost at Notts innovation centres

The number of people employed by businesses based at three innovation centres in Nottinghamshire has increased by a third in the last year.

The Mansfield iCentre, Newark Beacon and Worksop Turbine saw full-time equivalent (FTE) employees increase from 399 to 528 between 31 March 2012 and 31 March 2013.

In addition, a further 107 FTEs were employed by ‘virtual’ tenants, businesses that have an address and telephone answering service provided by one of the three innovation centres.

Occupancy rates across the three centres have increased by almost 10% in the last two years, from 71% in 2011 to 80.6% in 2013.

The increase in employees and take-up of units comes despite six companies graduating from the innovation centres in the last 12 months. A graduation is counted when a developing business outgrows the innovation centre and moves to a new premises of its own.

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of the Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The increase in jobs and take-up of units at our innovation centres is very encouraging, especially as it’s been achieved during a recession. It shows that innovation is alive and well in Nottinghamshire and that there is a clear demand from up-and-coming companies for support to develop their business plans.

“If we are going to see a long term improvement and growth in the local economy, it is absolutely vital that the fledgling firms and bright business ideas of today are nurtured, so that they can produce the jobs and prosperity of tomorrow.

“It’s especially pleasing to see six companies develop to such an extent in the last year that they have outgrown the innovation centre and moved on into new premises. Success stories like these really prove the worth of our innovation centres, both to businesses and the economy.”

All three innovation centres are managed by Oxford Innovation Ltd, on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. The County Council, Homes and Communities Agency and the district council in each area are equity shareholders in the centres.

They aim to stimulate business and economic growth by helping fledgling, knowledge-based enterprises to develop, which in turn will bring higher-skilled and better paid employment to North Nottinghamshire.

Tenant businesses benefit from excellent facilities, including high quality buildings, modern telephony and ICT facilities, use of meeting and conference facilities, free business support, on-site cafes and in the case of the Mansfield iCentre, an on-site nursery.

Source: Notts County Council

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