Welsh innovation centre contributes £53 million to the Welsh economy

Welsh ICE, an innovation centre based in Caerphilly, has contributed £53 million to the Welsh economy since launching in 2012.

That’s according to a report carried out by social and economic research company Wavehill. It looked at the number of jobs and revenue the centre has created.

It found that, as a result of continued investment from organisations like the Welsh Government, every £1 ploughed into ICE businesses has resulted in a £22 benefit to the Welsh economy.

Over the past few years, the co-working space has also created 360 full-time jobs. Meanwhile, businesses based at ICE have had a 77 per cent 3-year survival rate – with the UK average at 61 per cent.

In other findings, 74 per cent of residents said they had developed formal agreements and fostered natural referrals with each other, and eight out of ten members felt that ICE had helped them innovate.

Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member Cllr Sean Morgan said: “The findings of this report really do demonstrate the hugely significant impact that Welsh ICE continues to have upon the economy, both locally and Wales-wide.

“I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting the centre and some of the many businesses it supports on many occasions, and am always impressed by the level of innovation, support and passion that goes into encouraging entrepreneurship.

“We’re extremely proud that Welsh ICE has chosen to call Caerphilly county borough home, and I have no doubt that this success will continue for many years to come.”

Jamie McGowan, campus director at Welsh ICE, said these findings are a testament to the hard work of all the business owners, staff and entrepreneurs based at the centre.

He said: “Simply put, the ICE model works and shows that if you build an environment that inspires community and gives startup businesses the right funding and support, they will thrive and create the jobs that have a wider economic benefit.

“Success through collaboration was the mission of ICE founders Anthony & William Record, Gareth Jones and Mandy Weston, and I am proud that we continue to build on that legacy.”

If this growth continues, Welsh ICE’s economic contribution could grow to a staggering £70 million by 2021. Jamie wants to make this happen by growing the ICE community.

“We are always looking to reach out to those who have started a business or are thinking about making that leap. With the guidance and support of the ICE campus, it really is possible to grow a business of your own,” he added.

“The spirit of collaboration and support at ICE is a testament to how welcoming the community is and we would encourage budding entrepreneurs to put their business ideas on paper and contact us.”