£12M approval for innovation centre


A new business innovation centre in Cornwall has been approved for almost £12 million of investment from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence Programme and the South West RDA.
The Pool Innovation Centre, one of seven “Transformational Projects” being supported in the CPR Regeneration area in West Cornwall, will provide high quality workspace and business support to start-up businesses with potential for growth, and is forecast to create 130 jobs by 2015.
The centre, on Trevenson Road, will cost £11.2 million to build and fit out, and a further £700,000 will be invested in specialist, on-site business support.
The project, which is lead by Cornwall County Council, is backed by £9 million of ERDF Convergence investment, and almost £3 million from the South West RDA.
Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall County Council economic portfolio holder, said: “Cornwall County Council is the lead partner in this investment, as the regeneration of Camborne Pool Redruth is one of our key economic regeneration priorities. This new high quality workspace with specialist support will help local businesses grow and help attract new types of business to Camborne Pool Redruth.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “This Convergence European Regional Development Fund and RDA investment in these new quality facilities, together with specialist support to help businesses grow new ideas, is the first of a network of such business facilities that Convergence will invest in. In addition to the new physical build the investment will include the establishment of a ‘virtual business incubator’ giving businesses not located in the new facility easy access to the specialist advice – both from within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and further afield – helping to ensure the impact of the investment is far wider then the new building itself.”
Theo Leijser, the South West RDA’s director in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Our investment in the Pool Innovation Centre is all about supporting new businesses, helping them grow and unlocking their potential in a priority area for the RDA. It’s also part of a much wider programme of business support and engagement in Cornwall that we and our partners are driving to ensure that we create the environment for businesses to thrive and prosper. This is especially important during the current economic downturn and we want to ensure that when we come out of it Cornwall is ready to do business.”
Nigel Tipple, chief executive of CPR Regeneration, the urban regeneration company for Camborne, Pool and Redruth, said: “We’ve worked very closely with our partners to make Pool Innovation Centre a reality and it will play an important role creating high quality jobs in Pool. This is just the first of a series of new investments in office and workspace planned within the Trevenson Road corridor which could be home to up to 2,000 office-based jobs in the future.”
It is hoped that construction will begin early in 2009, with the innovation centre opening with its first tenants in June 2010. The Pool Innovation Centre will be a three storey building with a net lettable floor space of 2,310m². It will consist of 49 offices of five different sizes, six shared meeting rooms and a conference facility.  It has been designed to provide flexible accommodation with units ranging in size from 25 m2 to 90 m2. To help tenant circulation and networking, all central services including reception, meeting rooms, conference facilities, toilets and kitchens will be shared.
The building will use 60% less energy than a conventional office building. It will also achieve a BREEAM excellent standard for both pre and post construction.
It is estimated that by 2015 the project will have created 130 full time equivalent jobs in the local economy. This includes jobs created within new and growing businesses in the centre, jobs created in the wider economy as PIC tenants purchase products and services from local suppliers.