2nd May 2006




Lincoln MP Gillian Merron is to help the city’s first business incubation centre to celebrate its third birthday.


She is to visit Sparkhouse Studios, the University of Lincoln’s media and creative incubation centre, at lunchtime on Friday 5th May.


Sparkhouse Studios opened its doors at the University of Lincoln three years ago to encourage graduates to stay in Lincoln and set up their own creative businesses.


So far the centre has supported 50 new businesses, helping them secure more than £500,000 in investment capital and creating more than 70 new jobs.


Current tenants, most of whom are University of Lincoln graduates, include games, web and fashion designers and digital video producers.


Sparkhouse Studios was officially opened by Mike Newell, director of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’.


Its most high-profile tenant is ITV Yorkshire, which moved its news-gathering team into the centre in February.


The third birthday event will begin at 10.45am with tours of the facilities for invited guests.


The university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Chiddick, and Gillian Merron MP will both address the guests and Jim Durrant, Head of Business Development at the university, will give an update on the development of Sparkhouse Studios.


Gillian Merron will be given the honours of cutting the birthday cake at around 12.30pm.


Reporters are photographers are welcome to attend. Please contact the press office to make the arrangements.


For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:      www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews.htm