As of Thursday August 5, a new business support space will open its doors at the Plantation Store, Foundry Lane, Hayle. Set across two office units (5 and 7) and known as the Pop-up Innovation Centre, it will provide small to medium-sized businesses with fully-funded incubation space, from August through to December 24.
The Pop-Up Innovation Centre will also offer hot desks, printing facilities and can be used for occasional client meetings or to make collaborative connections with other users. Businesses are also able to make an appointment to speak to IKE accredited Business Innovation Advisors, who are able to offer business advice and guidance on a variety of areas of innovation.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Cornwall Council, the Pop-up Innovation Centre forms part of the business outreach services offered by Acceleration Through Innovation 2 (ATI2), a £3.4M business support programme led by the University of Plymouth.
Jo Hancock, Programme Manager at ATI2, details how the space will benefit local businesses:
“The Pop-up Innovation Centre aims to support those business owners and entrepreneurs who are on their innovation journey, who are growing their businesses or have perhaps started a business during Covid.
“Starting a business is always challenging, even more so during a pandemic, and this is where ATI2’s onsite Business Innovation Advisors can really make a difference. They’ve got an abundance of local knowledge, connections, support partners, specialist expertise and access to vital resources, both through the programme and the University of Plymouth, all of which can expedite business growth”, she explains.
Over the past 15 months and throughout the pandemic, ATI2 has worked with over 300 businesses and supported innovation projects with a total project value of £585,181. They’ve helped numerous small to medium-sized Cornish businesses to bring new products, services and processes to market.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the Pop-up Innovation Centre, which moves around the county, has been unable to open whilst Government guidelines recommended working from home. Now that restrictions have been lifted to step 4 of the roadmap, the Pop-up Innovation Centre activities can resume with the recommended Covid-19 safety measures in place.
In addition to the physical Pop-up Innovation Centre in Hayle, a mobile Pop-up will also take to the road each Thursday to visit more of Cornwall’s towns and industrial estates, to raise awareness of the business support and services available via the ATI2 programme, as well as provide information and guidance about the wider business support networks in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Paul Miles Rogers, ATI2 Pop-up Innovation Centre Coordinator, who will be predominantly based within the Pop-up Innovation Centre in Hayle (when he’s not out in the mobile unit), had the following to add:
“After the success of our 8 previous Pop-up Innovation Centres, we recognise that each town has different needs and businesses will utilise the space in different ways. So we want to be open to all, not just those in Hayle but from across West Cornwall too.
“I would encourage all types of small to medium-sized businesses to make contact and see where we can help, whether that is using the physical facilities or whether it is advice, guidance and support, not just from ATI2 but from the many organisations and fellow business support projects we work with. For example the Growth Hub are one of those projects, but there are many more”, he says.
To celebrate the launch of the Hayle Pop-up Innovation Centre, local businesses are invited to the opening of the new premises, taking place on the August 5 from 10:00AM. Refreshments will be provided and bookings are available throughout the day, these will be staggered and numbers capped in accordance with Covid-19 safety measures. To reserve your place visit www.aticornwallinnovation.co.uk/events-calendar.
If you are interested in attending the event or would like more information about how you could utilise the space, contact Paul Rogers, Pop-up Innovation Centre Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07525 770552.
Please be aware that a booking system will be in place at the Pop-up Innovation Centre, due to the ongoing pandemic and whereby Government guidelines may be subject to change. To avoid disappointment, visitors and prospective users of the space are advised to contact Paul Rogers at least an hour prior to popping in.
To find out more about ATI2 or to register your interest in the programme, visit: https://www.aticornwallinnovation.co.uk/