Boost for business in Herts

The premises at Hertfordshire Business Incubation Centre are getting a £7m makeover to better support technology and engineering businesses in the region.

The demand for accommodation at Stevenage-based HBIC is heavily outstripping availability. Thanks to the funding, which includes a £2.9m grant from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), £2.7m from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and £1.2m from Stevenage Borough Council, a major extension can be built onto the existing building.

The current Business Technology Centre will be expanded, and enterprises which are already at the centre will be able to move into larger units. This will allow more start-up companies to move into the existing incubator space and benefit from the additional business support that HBIC offers.

Mark Aspinall, head of innovation and enterprise at EEDA, said: ‘This is an exciting development as it will encourage more Stevenage businesses to make their first step, while allowing some of the excellent companies that are already there to expand. What’s more, this extension will result in new, high-quality jobs – particularly in the target sectors of aerospace defence, ICT and biotechnology – which will be a significant boost for Stevenage.’

The new building will increase the space available to over 50,000 sq ft, providing enough room for purpose-built conferencing facilities with full catering and modern networking facilities. It will maintain the supply of incubation premises and create new jobs for the area.