Hi-tech growth hub puts regeneration area on the map for innovation
A thriving innovation centre for start-ups and early stage businesses, backed by £4m of Enterprise M3 funding, has marked its first year of success. BASE Bordon Innovation Centre, converted from a former British Army officers' mess, is just one new initiative on the regeneration site that is the former Louisburg Barracks, near Borden, East Hampshire. Sitting alongside the new Future Skills Centre, offering vocational training to young people, and the TechForest business park, the centre will help position Whitehill and Borden as a viable business hub. The entire area is being transformed into a green and healthy town under a £1billion regeneration which includes up to 3,350 new homes, 5,500 new jobs, new schools, a new road, new facilities and more green space. Enterprise M3 LEP's Local Growth Fund contributed the lion's share of the £5.6m business innovation centre. Our chairman, Dave Axam, said: "Our investment will support high-value, local companies grounded in hi-tech, clean growth solutions. This is the focus of the Whitehill and Bordon regeneration and will help position the town as a vibrant community and cutting-edge business hub, and also the wider Enterprise M3 region as an innovator in clean, digital technology." The BASE Bordon Innovation Centre boasts a total of 31 offices on flexible rental terms, dedicated desk and coworking spaces, business lounge, a selection of meeting rooms, virtual offices and inclusive business growth support. Managed by Oxford Innovation on behalf of Homes England, it is now home to 29 exciting and innovative businesses and 74 per cent occupied, against a target of 65 per cent. It is also well on its way to smashing its second-year target of 80 per cent. To celebrate customers' achievements and the first year of operation, more than 30 occupiers and local business people joined the centre staff at BASE Bordon to mark the milestone. When the doors opened for the first time the centre had six office occupiers; the first of these were In-Space Missions and Real Life Digital. Myf Plunkett, BASE Bordon's centre manager, told guests: "I'm proud to say all six original customers are still with us today and on their own paths and growth cycles it's very exciting to see. Twelve months on and we are now a thriving home to 29 businesses across our coworking space, private offices and business lounge. "They are from varying industries including fintech, software, aerospace, creative, recruitment, legal and accountancy. "It's a mixed bag of wonderful people that works we are very thankful for our community and I think BASE Bordon's biggest success to date is its community. "We have a vibrant community of people giving it their best and having a go. It's also great to see so many of our businesses working collaboratively."