A new innovation centre in north-east Hampshire is already more than a quarter full – just weeks before the official opening.

Nine businesses and three co-workers have already moved into BASE Bordon Innovation Centre at Broxhead House, Louisburg Barracks, Whitehill & Bordon.

The ambitious companies specialise in a range of sectors, such as aerospace, software, engineering, digital and recruitment, creating the building blocks of an exciting and innovative community.

Stephen Brownlie, Oxford Innovation’s regional manager in the South, said: “Traction to date is superb, with 25 people on site, and well before the official opening on March 6th.

“Occupiers are attracted by free advisory support from our in-house Innovation Director, Richard May, flexible rental terms and a supportive environment where commercial ideas can flourish.

“The importance of thriving business hubs on the local economy, through internal investment, should not be underestimated.

“Research shows that for every £1 spent with a small-to-medium enterprise there was an additional 63p benefit for the local economy compared with 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.

“Given there are currently 5.7 million businesses in the UK, of which more than 99% are SMEs, and micro firms employing fewer than 10 people, you can see why smaller firms are important to the well-being of the local economy.”

Geared at start-ups, scales-ups and high-growth businesses, BASE Bordon Innovation Centre is run by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading innovation centre operator and a member of UKSPA.

As part of the centre’s growth plans, a centre manager has also been appointed.

Myf Plunkett, who emigrated from Melbourne, Australia, last year, came from office space provider Regus before taking up her new role.

She said: “There is already a buzz from our entrepreneurial clients in the building – they are start-ups and early-stage firms with contagious energy and can-do attitudes.

“Nine companies have moved into 10 offices, with three of our ten co-working spaces now occupied. Our business lounge memberships are also gaining momentum as customers understand the value of flexible workspace.”

There are 34 offices on flexible rental terms, along with co-working space, meeting rooms for hire and virtual offices.

Companies with a presence at the centre include:

In-Space Missions, which was established in 2015 to develop new space missions and provide consultancy and procurement support to the space industry;

Professional services consultancy companies Torsion and DDT Recruitment;

Real Life Digital, a highly specialised web development consultancy;

Twenty6 Developments, a provider of bespoke software development and consultancy services;

Chord Event, which supplies temporary structures to the top end of the events industry, from Formula 1 through to London 2012;

Software developer Ab Initio Systems, which provides a sophisticated management tool called AdminBase and is used by major manufacturers and smaller businesses.

Six Degrees Labs, which works in revenue assurance in the telecoms industry, has also signed.

To ensure all of these companies are getting access to the support and expert advice they need to thrive, customers of BASE Bordon Innovation Centre are able to access inclusive on-site business support.  

Richard May is the innovation director, providing business owners at BASE Bordon, and other Oxford Innovation centres, with strategic advice, impactful introductions and mentoring on key business areas.

In keeping with BASE Bordon Innovation Centre’s support for occupiers, a masterclass on how to produce great proposals is being held on February 23rd from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Jeremy Rix of OKO, an insight-led strategy consultancy working for household names such as Sky, Channel 4, Heathrow Airport, Macmillan, Tesco, Wilko and ActionAid, is guest speaker at this latest Innovate2Succeed event.

BASE Bordon Innovation Centre is the fourth centre in Hampshire operated by Oxford Innovation, other locations are Fareham Innovation Centre, Portsmouth Technopole and Ocean Village Innovation Centre in Southampton.

Funded by a £4 million Local Growth Fund investment from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, the former officers mess underwent an 18-month refurbishment project.

Undertaken by the then Homes and Communities Agency, now called Homes England, the centre welcomed  its first customers in November 2017.

The former military base at Bordon, upon which BASE Bordon Innovation Centre stands, is being regenerated in a £50m mixed scheme, including hundreds of homes.

BASE Bordon Innovation Centre is located within the government-backed EZ³ Enterprise Zone and offers a range of benefits for eligible businesses.

They include up to 100% business rates discount, worth up to £275,000 over a five-year period, high-quality business support, expert support to help access the government’s R&D tax credit scheme and access to global markets through the Department for International Trade.

Submitted on 13/02/2018