Council set to take the reins of business start- up centre
A CENTRE set up in Solihull to nurture start- up businesses is to be transferred to council ownership.
The new arrangement for Blythe Valley Innovation Centre is set to come into force on July 1, following more than 18 months’ preparation by local authority officers.
Established almost 20 years ago, Solihull Council has been the sole shareholder since 2013 and it was previously agreed that the facility no longer needed to operate as part of a company structure.
Given that the Innovation Centre has a record of returning a healthy profit and that more than nine out of ten of its 39 units are consistently occupied, the council has said it is important that the transition does not affect the site’s performance.
This means that the day- to- day management of the premises will continue to be handled by the University of Warwick Science Park ( UWSP). A report, which was considered by councillors, admitted that, at this stage, council officers did not have the same level of experience. “It is recommended that the council continues to use UWSP on the basis that they have a successful track record of running the centre,” said the document. Councillor Robert Hulland ( left), cabinet member for resources and delivering value, agreed for financial authority to be delegated to the UWSP. Past tenants of the Innovation Centre include Lyra Electronics, which works with various green industries. The firm moved to the site in 2012 before outgrowing the premises and transferring to a new facility in Wellesbourne.
Blythe Valley Innovation Centre