The Epicentre in Haverhill is having a buoyant year as it has its second birthday this week with new companies signing up for space all the time and the full-up sign now being hung on all the laboratory space doors.

The centre is operated by Oxford Innovation Space and its Centre Manager, Andrew Bell, says: “new businesses are joining the EpiCentre every month, including office and lab space, new faces in co-working and local companies booking the meeting and conference rooms, which is reassuring given  the recent economic and political chaos.

“When the centre opened on 2nd November 2020 the country was in deep lockdown as a result of the COVID pandemic, but the EpiCentre was able to offer companies flexible occupational terms without the need to sign up to long term leases. This    is just what Haverhill needed and since then this flexibility continues to work given the new economic challenges we face,” adds Bell.

At the end of last year, the building’s owner Jaynic took the decision with Oxford Innovation Space to convert the whole ground floor to laboratory space. This proved a timely move as all the space was snapped up immediately. There are 8 individual lab-based companies using the facilities in various stages of growth.

The EpiCentre’s business support services provide a major incentive for companies taking space there. It provides support by offering services beyond the facilities and physical space supporting small and medium sized businesses to scale and grow. The business advice provided by its dedicated Innovation Director, Gary Jennings and the centre team makes all the difference, providing 1-2-1 coaching, business support, and signposting, with a focus on helping business to develop and grow.

Jennings says: “Tailoring the business support to the individual companies at a stage that suits them is key to ensuring a bespoke approach. If this be support in grant funding, developing strategies for sales development right through to getting access to business support tools, normally beyond the reach of most small and medium businesses.”

The EpiCentre, two years in, is looking to a bright future and is continuing to develop not only in the business community, but in the wider community in Haverhill as well with recent support of the Citizens Advice Bureau and future aspirations for helping support the local food bank and debt support charity REACH.