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£13m innovation centre is set to welcome first new tenants

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The development has been led by Cornwall Council, supported by Cornwall Development Company (CDC) and is operated by the University of Plymouth. It was funded by the ERDF Convergence Programme and the South West Regional Development Agency.

The low-carbon facility will provide resources to help both existing and start-up companies to accelerate and grow. It has space to accommodate up to 70 businesses, with four shared meeting rooms, break-out rooms and a conference facility. It has been built by the Leadbitter Group.

The first tenants are expected to move into the centre "within the next few weeks", but Cornwall Council has yet to reveal their number, or the nature of their business.

Tremough is the second innovation centre to be completed in Cornwall over the past two years. The Pool Innovation Centre opened in July 2010 and achieved three-year growth targets within its first 12 months in operation.

Work on a third innovation centre – focused on the health and wellbeing sector – on the site of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust in Truro began in August and is expected to be completed in late October 2012.

The aim of the innovation centres is to provide businesses with access to a "supportive and exciting" communal environment in which they can develop their ideas, accelerating their growth and creating more and higher value jobs.

Chris Ridgers, the Council's cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said "Young companies, with appreciable growth potential, need access to the right kind of space and facilities if they are to prosper and provide much needed high quality jobs. This amazing building, which is located alongside world class research and education facilities at Tremough, will help provide this."

Tremough Innovation Centre director Bernard Curren said: "We feel sure that TIC will follow the success already achieved in PIC. The team have enjoyed working with the business community in the Falmouth and Penryn area and are confident that this centre will add value and support the development of stronger more sustainable businesses."

Professor Anne Carlisle, rector and chief executive of University College Falmouth said: "The opening of the TIC enables the establishment of a sustainable innovation supply chain: Stage one is the generation of new knowledge achieved through our courses; stage two is pre-incubation achieved through our Academy for Innovation and Research; stage three is incubation and spin-out into the TIC."

University of Exeter deputy vice-chancellor Professor Mark Overton said: "[This] is a very exciting project that will help both universities to build on our links with businesses."

ARTICLE SOURCE: ThisIsDevon website

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