Four high-tech enterprise hubs confirmed for Wales

£4 million of funding has been secured to build four high-tech regional enterprise hubs across Wales.

Welsh ICE, Tramshed Tech and a consortium led by Bangor University have been chosen to run hubs in North West, Mid, South West and South East West Wales.

The investment is part of a Welsh Government plan to encourage and support entrepreneurs across the country. Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, it’ll deliver supportive spaces and mentoring for small and medium-sized businesses.

William Record, chairman of Welsh ICE, said being awarded the contract was a testament to the impact the innovation centre has had within the start-up and small business community.

He commented: “Since its founding in 2012, ICE has gone on to grow into an incredible space for startups and small businesses. We’ve added further buildings and can now boast over 30,000 square foot of office space.

“Our recent independent report found that businesses at Welsh ICE had generated a net GVA benefit of £53m to the Welsh economy across its eight years.”

“The funding will mean we can build on the outstanding work already taking place on the ICE Campus, and continue to support the next generation of startups that will be the lifeblood of the future economy.”

Mark John, co-founder and director of Tramshed Tech, said his organisation wants to ensure businesses are supported in both rural areas and city centres.

“We are keen to engage with the community in both Mid and South  West Wales, cementing our partnership with Business in Focus and the Hub partner teams,” he commented.

“We’ve already started developing a programme of meetups, workshops and co-working solutions to support these new hubs and the next generation of businesses they will help to grow.
“As with our Cardiff location, these new locations will place an emphasis on innovation through collaboration and creating a diverse and inclusive community across different sectors.”

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said it’s clear that supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship across Wales is absolutely crucial if we are to succeed in growing the Welsh economy.

“And I expect my decision to deliver these businesses hubs in North West Wales, Mid Wales, the South West Valleys and the South East Valleys to provide a real boost to our regional economies,” he said.

“Alongside the satellite locations, these five hubs will ensure that budding entrepreneurs in all parts of Wales can access the space and help they need to get their ideas off the ground, creating at least 700 new enterprises and 1160 new quality jobs in the process.”

Skates added: “The evidence is clear that by working collaboratively and bringing academia, industry and local partners closer together in the right environment we can deliver a host of wider benefits to areas surrounding the hubs.

“This can only be good news for our economic regions, and for delivering my ambition of ensuring the fruits of prosperity fall much more evenly across Wales.  I look forward to seeing entrepreneurs from all parts of Wales benefit at the earliest opportunity.”