Harborough Innovation Centre delivers £19m business boost in first seven years, and there’s more to come

March 8th 2019
A specialist business hub owned by Harborough District Council (HDC) and launched to help ambitious new businesses has helped deliver a £19 million cash boost for the district economy in just seven years.

An Impact Report looking at the success of Harborough Innovation Centre has revealed the facility has helped create a total of 796 jobs across 122 companies since its launch.
Developed by HDC, it has been a vibrant hub of innovation and enterprise in the district and is currently home to 69 companies., In the first seven years since opening in 2011, £19.3 million has been created through the centre for the local economy.

Leader of Harborough District Council Neil Bannister said: “The Innovation Centre continues to make a hugely positive impact on this district offering on-hand business support to ensure new businesses and entrepreneurial projects can grow and prosper.”

Since its launch, 54 businesses have grown into bigger offices in the region – showcasing the potential shared office space and support can bring to new businesses.

As part of exciting plans for the future of the facility, a new ‘Grow On Space’ is set to be added later this year at Compass Point Business Park, helping more businesses to expand and employ more staff. The addition will bring an extra £20 million into the Harborough economy over five years.

Neil O’Brien OBE MP, Member of Parliament for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston, said: “The Innovation Centre plays a key role across the Harborough business community. It is home to a range of highly innovative businesses which have created a number of well-paid and highly-skilled jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone involved in making the Centre such a success, and wish them all the best for the next seven years.”

Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, which manages the centre, said: “The impact Harborough Innovation Centre has had on the local economy cannot be underestimated. It has transformed the way the district does business.

“Ambitious entrepreneurs now have a place to turn their dreams into reality. Our partnership with HDC has resulted in local talent being kept in Harborough, rather than being lost to Leicester or Rugby, and the whole district is benefitting as a result.”

At the heart of Harborough Innovation Centre’s success is the targeted and tailored business support early stage and growing SMEs receive: strategic coaching and mentoring for the innovators leading their businesses delivered by business growth experts.

Funded by HDC, ERDF and East Midlands Development Agency, the centre can accommodate a wide range of companies in just over 23,000 sq-ft, providing office space and studios ranging from 157 to 1,065 sq-ft.

The offices and studios are ideal for companies with between one and 15 employees where they benefit from a flexible, professional, supported office environment.

Sports psychology business Sporting Edge moved into Harborough Innovation Centre on opening day in 2011 and has been there ever since, reaping the rewards of the benefits of sharing office space with a myriad of other ambitious businesses.

Owner Jeremy Snape, a former international cricketer, said: “Having a professional place where you can host clients, where people can park, eat in the restaurant, and there are meeting rooms is invaluable. We also use a number of services providers from HIC and it’s a lively hub for people to collaborate. We use web and brand design, legal support, promotional materials and exhibition manufacturers, so it’s been very helpful.”

An informal networking breakfast was held on Friday, March 8, to celebrate the launch of the seven year Impact Report and hear from businesses who have benefitted from being based at HIC..

To arrange a tour of the Centre or to enquire about meeting room hire, please call Centre Manager, Liza Menzies on 01858 414200.

To find out more about the impact of Harborough Innovation Centre, download a copy of our report here. 

May 17th 2019

IFA moves onwards and upwards

After four years at HIC, Intelligent Financial Advisory (IFA) has moved on. The team has performed so well in that time that it has finally outgrown the centre, and has taken on new offices of its own in Lutterworth.

April 15th 2019

Recruitment guru wins Harborough district business award

Caroline Hunt, of Emerald Starfish, was named the winner of the latest Pioneer 10, an awards programme funded by Harborough District Council and run out of the Harborough Innovation Centre (HIC).

April 12th 2019

Harborough business grant for apprenticeships

Thought about taking on an apprentice? Why not apply for the Harborough business grant for apprenticeships?
Businesses in the Harborough District can apply for funding to help them take on apprentices. Harborough District Council is making grants of up to £750 available to encourage apprenticeships and promote the benefits they can offer businesses.