Three expanding companies are to relocate to larger workspaces within a flourishing innovation centre in south Hampshire, following a £7 million extension which opens last week.
They currently operate out of Fareham Innovation Centre’s original £5.3m building, which opened three years ago with 24 offices and 15 light-manufacturing workshops.
More than 40 businesses from the marine, engineering and aerospace sectors rapidly filled the building by Solent Airport, with near 100% occupancy achieved within 12 months.
The phase two extension - more than doubling the size of the original premises and opening today (FRIDAY) - was built to accommodate growing demand from occupiers and local businesses wanting to move in.
Comprising 33 offices and five high-bay workshops, the additional 3,400 sq m extension provides offices, workshops and meeting rooms, plus on-site business support services, for small-to medium-size enterprises
Fareham Innovation Centre’s extension also features The Bridge, a high-tech conference space for training seminars, trade shows, exhibitions and conferences.
With capacity for up to 100 delegates, it comes fully equipped with large digitally connected HD screens, interactive whiteboards, break-out spaces, soundproofing, teleconferencing and air conditioning.
ESL Group, which designs and manufactures Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in banking security, food logistics and assisted living, signed up for two new workshops and an office space.
Constructex, experts in maritime civil engineering, has reserved two workshops and Outright Games, which creates family-friendly video games with quality licences, moves into a bigger office.
UKSPA member Oxford Innovation runs Fareham Innovation Centre on behalf of owner Fareham Borough Council and is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, with 25 centres currently under management.
Stephen Brownlie, Oxford Innovation’s regional manager for the South, said: “We anticipate 50% occupancy at the extension by autumn, if not sooner, and all five workshops, which are suitable for light manufacturing and engineering, have already been snapped up.
“The scale-up space at the £7m extension is proving a draw for expanding centre occupiers who wish to remain in our flourishing business support ecosystem, with ESL, Constructex and Outright Games the first to put down new roots.”
He added: “Research showed that the area was crying out for quality conference facilities which meet the contemporary needs of today’s digitally immersive business world and is far removed from traditional ‘chalk talks’.
“These are the sort of high-tech audio-visual facilities that businesses expect, and we are confident that The Bridge, opening this month, will enhance the support we already on offer to customers internally and externally.”
For smaller groups, the conference centre can be divided into two separate meeting rooms, Seahawk and Seafire, suitable for groups of 50-70 people.
All delegates have access to high-speed broadband, break-out space, catering options and free on-site parking.
Occupants at Fareham Innovation Centre enjoy various benefits, including a 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a five-year period for being within an Enterprise Zone.
Open days, including tours, take place on June 12th and June 18th. To book, ring Fareham Innovation Centre on 023 9387 0380 or via https://www.fareham-ic.co.uk/contact/