Work has begun on the construction of the £8 million iCentrum(TM) building, which is the first phase of Innovation Birmingham's expansion.
Located next to Faraday Wharf and Aston University, the 3,874 sq ft building is being funded through a commercial loan agreed with Birmingham City Council and is destined to act as a creative 'incubator' for new technology companies.
Innovation Birmingham has secured additional funding from the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Enterprise Zone’s Site Development and Access Fund to create additional co-working space in the new building.
The new businesses in iCentrumTM will create 400 high-value skilled tech jobs, generating £25 million of GVA to the local economy per annum. The building will be one of the first to start on site within the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone, which features 26 sites within central Birmingham.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “iCentrumTM will drive forward our Smart City agenda, creating hundreds of new jobs within local SME tech firms, based within the building and across the Greater Birmingham region. This dynamic building will enjoy 30Gbit/s broadband speeds – equalling the fastest internet connection available anywhere in the UK. iCentrumTM’s rich mix of entrepreneurship and collaborative activity will be a magnet for an increasingly mobile workforce; it will firmly position us on the UK’s tech map.”
The top floor of iCentrumTM will feature a range of self-contained, highly flexible office suites for growing entrepreneurial tech companies. The first floor will be home to Innovation Birmingham’s ground-breaking ‘Serendip’ incubator, which will deliver a mixture of innovation across four key sectors, closely aligned to the Smart City agenda. This highly creative environment will promote cross-sector serendipity to drive new innovative enterprise, relevant to a city of the future.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “We have a waiting list for space at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, and this new state-of-the-art incubation facility will drive a new generation of tech entrepreneurs for the city. As a lighthouse - a beacon for Birmingham’s innovation-led community – it will act as a focal point for the city’s burgeoning tech scene, helping to ensure Birmingham is recognised as one of the great UK ‘Tech Cities’.”Written by Richenda Oldham
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