£2.5m grant will launch Enterprise@Lincoln (Sparkhouse 2)
Work can now begin on the second phase of the University of Lincoln’s highly successful Sparkhouse development following the announcement of a £2.5m grant from Lincolnshire Enterprise and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda).
The vibrant new building will establish Enterprise@Lincoln – an integrated approach to enterprise across the entire University
The second phase builds on the reputation and experience of the original Sparkhouse Studios at the University which has supported the incubation of 60 new businesses, created 82 new jobs, developed 246 potential entrepreneurs and helped businesses secure more than £1m of investment capital.
Sparkhouse Studios is currently the only regionally and nationally accredited business incubation centre in Lincolnshire and has led the way for industry in the region since becoming fully operational in 2003. Its overarching aim is to stimulate and assist entrepreneurs and enterprise through increasing the number of new start and growth businesses for the benefit of the local, regional and national economy.
Enterprise@Lincoln will create an innovative new hub which, for the first time in Lincolnshire, will bring together:
Enterprise@Lincoln will also support the University’s Learning Landscapes agenda by providing flexible spaces for meetings or workshops for businesses and so support and enhance the University’s engagement with the region’s business community.
Andrew Atherton, Pro Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Enterprise at the University of Lincoln, said: ”Funding from Lincolnshire Enterprise and the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) to establish a physical home for Enterprise@Lincoln, as a logical extension of our incubation and enterprise activities, enables the University of Lincoln to enhance its focus on the development of regeneration of the local and regional economy through Enterprise.
“New ventures, started by entrepreneurial staff, students and alumni, as well as wide-ranging engagement with employers, will generate employment and growth opportunities in Lincoln and Lincolnshire.”
Nev Jackson, chairman of Lincolnshire Enterprise and an emda board member, said: “I am delighted about the development of Sparkhouse 2 and look forward to seeing it expand on the success accomplished by the original Sparkhouse project by supporting the development of exiting new businesses, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”
Andrew Thurston, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Enterprise, added: “This project will provide Lincolnshire with much needed resources to encourage and support new local start-up businesses, especially for graduate entrepreneurs. Sparkhouse 2 will provide an environment for businesses to prosper and grow, and in particular I believe it will encourage new and returning graduates to set up and grow successful ventures in the county.”
The building design, developed by University of Lincoln Architects (ULA) will ensure a low carbon building, utilising recycled materials and boldly expressing the features of environmental sustainability. It is planned that the building will be open for business in summer 2009.
See the facilities available at Sparkhouse Studies at www.sparkhousestudios.co.uk. For more information about Enterprise@lincoln visit Enterprise@lincoln.ac.uk or contact Andrew Stevenson, Head of Enterprise and Employer Engagement, on 01522 837222.
For further information on the work of Lincolnshire Enterprise, please contact Jeff Kersey of Spectrum PR (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 01522 810398 or visit www.lincolnshire-enterprise.com
Below: Andrew Thurston and Andrew Atherton