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Celebrations as Keele’s latest business innovation centre opens
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Celebrations as Keele’s latest business innovation centre opens

Building work on a £7million centre for business innovation in Staffordshire has been completed – with the first companies already set to move in.

The joint project between Keele University and Staffordshire County Council is the latest facility designed to support the development of local businesses and the creation of high value jobs in the area.

Innovation Centre 5, located on Keele University Science and Innovation Park, was officially handed over from construction partner Seddon earlier this month. It is the latest result of a long and successful partnership between the county council and the University, which sees the building funded and owned by the former and managed and maintained by the latter.  It could accommodate around 300 jobs when fully occupied.

The building is the fifth Innovation Centre on the Park and provides 30,000 sq ft of additional office and workshop accommodation for innovative, knowledge-intensive businesses. It is also the first to be built on the Science and Innovation Park’s new development site – an extension which has created 13 plots of land available for businesses and other partners to develop their own bespoke buildings.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, David Frost CBE, said:  “IC5 is a great illustration of how we are working together in our region to create highly skilled job opportunities and assist cutting-edge businesses to grow and thrive.

“It is clear that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is becoming an increasingly popular area for businesses to locate and innovative developments such as IC5 have an important role to play in this.

“Our range of successful developments, like IC5, show how partnership working across the public and private sectors and our universities is paying dividends for our economy.”

Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economic growth at Staffordshire County Council, said: “This is another great economic success for us – the delivery of a business innovation centre on time and on budget with companies already lined up to move in.

“We are committed to supporting the creation of more high value jobs to Staffordshire through close working with a range of organisations. We’re building our partnership with Keele – one of the UK’s leading educational and research establishments – to further strengthen our economy. We look forward to seeing a thriving centre as part of the renowned Science and Innovation Park.”

Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele University’s Vice-Chancellor, added: “The completion of Innovation Centre 5 is a significant milestone for us and for the local business economy.  Each of our existing properties has been in great demand since they opened, so it is fantastic that we are now able to accommodate and support more businesses here at Keele.

“We are the only Science and Innovation Park in Staffordshire and one of only a handful in the country that is fully integrated within a university campus.  This ensures that businesses here are not only benefiting from modern facilities that they can be proud of, but they also have unrivalled access to the University’s world-leading research, experienced and respected academics and officially the UK’s most employable graduates, right on their doorstep.

“This proximity to knowledge and expertise presents numerous opportunities for businesses to collaborate with the University in ways that will make their product development more efficient and effective, enable faster growth into new markets and ultimately create skilled jobs in the area.”