Coun­cil set to take the reins of busi­ness start- up cen­tre

Solihull News - - IT TALK -

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

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