A new business and innovation centre is set to accelerate the growth of digital industries across the Tees Valley.
Fusion Hive was launched today (xxxxxx xxnd February) and will be at the heart of the Northshore regeneration area of Stockton, where work is being led by Muse Developments, one of the country’s leading names in urban regeneration.
Muse is developing Fusion Hive in conjunction with Teesside University and Stockton Borough Council and is being built on land owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who have invested nearly £3million into the project.
The three-storey Fusion Hive, a 36,000 sq ft facility offers flexible working spaces for around 60 small and medium sized enterprises in the digital and scientific sectors.
Managed by Teesside University it will provide business tenants not only with high-spec accommodation, but also access to business support services and specialist expertise along with potential funding opportunities.
Any business which takes up space at Fusion Hive will also benefit from Teesside University’s established business network, which will give opportunities to help with growth and development.
The design of Fusion Hive, has the needs of fledgling enterprises at its core. Flexible individual workspaces and collaborative areas will help likeminded businesses interact, network and work together.
Fusion Hive was given the go-ahead following the receipt of £2.87m in investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the fund matched by the HCA.
By supporting the growth and development of some of our most innovative businesses, Fusion Hive is set to have a real impact on the economy of the Tees Valley and wider North East.
Simon Dew, Senior Development Surveyor, Muse Developments: “We are extremely proud of the Fusion Hive development, located at the heart of our successful Northshore regeneration scheme. Fusion Hive sees the collaboration between several organisations that will ultimately give new businesses the best opportunity to grow and prosper.
“Construction is well underway and we’re looking forward to its completion this summer. It will be a great asset to Northshore, which has an exciting future ahead, with the new head office for Thirteen nearly complete and the second phase of successful housing development Vivo selling well.”
Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, added: “For Teesside University, building strong links with businesses and helping them to grow through innovation and skills is a major priority.
“Fusion Hive gives us a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the most creative and innovative companies in the North East. It will bring a new dimension to the work we already do with business in the region.
“Through our own knowledge base, resources and networks we plan to give these SMEs the best opportunity they can have to grow and develop. In this way, Fusion Hive’s positive impact will extend beyond the tenant companies to the wider economy of the region.”
Marie Kiddell, Area Manager at the HCA added: “The launch of Fusion Hive is the second office building to be completed at Northshore and continues to provide job opportunities for local people, to complement the homes we have also helped deliver.
“Fusion Hive will complement the Business Incubators we are funding, with ERDF support, in Darlington and Middlesbrough which will also be completed in 2015”
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “It is an excellent time to develop a business in Stockton. Our Borough is a great place to do business and Fusion Hive is a fantastic addition to our already thriving digital hub. It will complement our existing digital centres such as Digital House in Stockton and provide first class, state of the art premises and business support in a high quality waterfront environment just a short walk away from Stockton Town Centre and major transport routes.
“Fusion Hive has the added advantage of being based in the Northshore Enterprise Zone so all of its tenants will also benefit from business rate discount of up to £55,000 per year for five years.
“Anyone who runs or who is interested in setting up a business in this exciting and quick moving sector really should find out more about what Fusion Hive has to offer.”
When complete, Northshore will provide up to 450,000 sq ft of offices, up to 85,000 sq ft retail, leisure space, a new hotel and up to 126 family houses, all set within a high quality riverside environment. The scheme will re-connect and re-orientate the town with the River Tees and create nearly 4,500 new jobs.
The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.
If you are a small or medium sized enterprise and you are interested in joining the Fusion Hive visit www.fusionhive.co.uk or call 01642 384400 for further information.