£500k project gives Tees innovation hub the ‘wow’ factor

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Businesses at one of Teesside’s most prestigious centres are enjoying a new look as well as additional facilities from smaller units and hot-desking to improved wireless connectivity following a £500,000 investment by UKSE.

The Innovation Centre on Kirkleatham Business Park at Redcar was the first purpose-built centre to be developed in the region by UKSE, the Tata Steel regeneration subsidiary, and was followed by a second centre at Hartlepool with both soon extended to meet growing demand.

The centres are now home to more than 100 young and growing businesses working in a wide range of sectors from fleet management, finance, data software, engineering and health to architecture, printing, construction, energy, recruitment, confectionary and sport.

UKSE, which also provides investments of up to £1m to growing businesses in its steel areas and has invested £22.5m in tailored loan and equity finance packages into the Northern region, has now spent nearly £13m on its two Innovation Centres.

This latest half-million pound project at Redcar has transformed the centre’s main reception area, a number of offices, kitchens, gym changing facilities and showers as well as the smaller reception area, kitchen and lounge in the Hub 2 building.

“It has been a significant project, from design and planning to the construction work,” said UKSE area manager Sarah Thorpe.

“We wanted to create some smaller units and can now offer tenants more spaces in the 150 sq ft to 380 sq ft range, in addition to the current offices and workshops plus collaborative working spaces such as hotdesking which suit today’s way of working.

“We have boosted the internet connectivity through all the shared areas and totally transformed the communal areas including receptions and kitchens.”

The Innovation Centres were designed to support businesses with flexible, affordable office and workshop space in a variety of sizes.

It’s not just about the space because the centres, both set in landscaped grounds with ample free parking, also provide the facilities needed to allow tenants to focus on their core business – from the experienced UKSE teams who are on hand for any queries and provide a manned reception area to well-equipped meeting rooms, high speed broadband and digital telecom systems, gyms, 24-hour access and security.

Sam Moore, who started his roofing business, Samuel Moore Roofing, in 2014, moved into UKSE’s Redcar Innovation Centre in 2017 to house his growing team as he extended operations further across the North-East and met growing demand for his services from major construction companies.

“The space and facilities at the centre immediately made a big difference,” he said.

“And being part of the business community here is supportive too. The centre is looking amazing with all the work that has been done and it is good to see UKSE continuing to invest so significantly in improving our workspace.”

“We have done everything possible to minimise disruption and tenants have been very understanding,” added Sarah Thorpe.

“Now the major work has finished, everyone is already enjoying the benefits and their new surroundings.”

See ukse.co.uk for details of the Innovation Centres or arrange a visit by calling 01642 777 888 (Redcar) or 01429 239500 (Hartlepool).


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