A new Pop-up Innovation Centre has opened its doors on Liskeard’s high street. Located where the fruit shop once stood, the space will now offer a range of free business support and innovation advice to help drive business growth in the area.
The small, but perfectly formed, premises has been fully kitted out with 5 hot desks, meeting space, free Wi-Fi and printing facilities. One-to-one business consultancy is also offered and businesses are encouraged to drop in to speak with a Business Innovation Advisor, who provide business advice and are certified by the Institute of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange (IKE).
The service is brought to you by Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI), a project which has engaged with over 230 businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since launching last September.
Pop-up Centre Coordinator, Adrienne Silcock, explains: “We see a real variety of people visiting our Pop-up Innovation Centres and welcome all businesses with fewer than 250 staff to use the facilities.”
Led by the University of Plymouth, ATI is providing access to grant funding for innovative projects within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, thanks to the support from the European Regional Development Fund. When working with ATI, businesses also benefit from the University of Plymouth’s world leading research and development expertise, accessing the support and resources for guidance in areas such as IP, procurement and funding.
Sam Baynham of Dynamic Edge Innovation, a local business owner, explains how he’s benefitted from using the services provided at the previous Pop-up Innovation Centre in St Austell: “the Pop-up Innovation Centres are very useful. Meeting there is a great excuse for networking. Especially for people like me, who usually work from home, it’s good to get out of the house to increase productivity and bounce ideas around with other innovators”.
The ‘pop-up’ concept is in addition to the three Cornwall Innovation Centres based centrally in Pool, Tremough and Treliske. Catherine Parnall, ATI Business Innovation Advisor for the Liskeard area, explains: “The ATI Pop-up Innovation Centre brings the Cornwall Innovation Centre offering out to the local business community in areas such as Liskeard, which is a considerable distance from the Innovation Centres themselves”.
Mayor of Liskeard Town Council, Christina Whitty, spoke at the launch event saying: “there are a lot of businesses in Liskeard and there’s a lot that need help to thrive. I hope those of us at the launch today can help by spreading the word about this project and get Liskeard innovating.”
The Pop-up Innovation Centre will remain in Liskeard for 3 months before its planned relocation to Newquay in November. Jo Hancock, ATI Senior Project Manager, says: “the Liskeard Pop-up Innovation Centre will help us engage with more of the county’s businesses and make them aware of the support, and funding, available through ATI. Although we’re only physically located in Liskeard for three months, our services and innovation expertise will be available through to March 2020”.
To find out more about ATI programme and to register your interest, visit www.aticornwallinnovation.co.uk.