Bruntwood is to open a new technology hub in Leeds this year, delivering a major boost for the fast-growing sector in the city region.
The news follows hot on the heels of Bruntwood subsidiary, Manchester Science Partnerships’ successful tender to establish a £2m tech hub at Oxford House in Manchester, focused on data science and technology innovation which was announced at the end of last year.
Bruntwood, the largest regional property developer and operator in the UK, has secured a £2m funding award from Leeds City Council to open a Tech Hub aimed at digital start-up companies and tech entrepreneurs within Platform, its new flagship building located at the city's mainline rail station.
The Leeds Tech Hub, which will be operated in close partnership with the city council and organisations across the full spectrum of the city's digital community, will support more than 1,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the project.
Platform, due to open this summer, will provide an inspirational home for Leeds’ digital sector, fostering innovation and collaboration. It will also offer a focal point to bring the wider regional tech community together, and a showcase for international investors.
Chris Oglesby, Chief Executive of Bruntwood, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to be Leeds City Council’s partner to deliver this exciting and strategically important new tech hub for the city region.
“Leeds has a vibrant and fast-growing digital economy, which will be enhanced by the tech hub, offering a truly supportive environment for digital entrepreneurs to thrive by accessing high-quality business growth support and an extensive network of funding partners.
“We have a long-term commitment to Leeds, which is one of the cities driving the Northern Powerhouse economy forward. The fact that we will also be operating the Manchester tech hub this year means that we can drive meaningful connectivity and valuable collaborations between these two Northern tech clusters for mutual benefit.”
Mr Oglesby added: “We are committed to working in collaboration with partners across the Leeds tech ecosystem. Our consortium has considerable experience in successfully growing tech businesses and job creation, securing inward investment, leveraging the local knowledge and talent base and attracting leading accelerator brands.”
“We believe delivering a tech hub to such a high specification in a prime city centre location, with its connections to the city region, across the North and direct into Kings Cross and London’s tech community will provide a beacon for the City’s aspirations in this sector. ”
The tech hub will provide an incubation environment of fully fitted-out space with 1 GigaByte connectivity available. Facilities will include an independent cafe-bar, event, demonstration and meeting spaces to support an extensive events programme and a variety of flexible workspaces combining hot desking, co-working and studio suites. The tech hub will also have access to a roof garden and terrace with stunning views of the city and surrounding areas, providing a unique event space.
The Tech Hub consortium bid partners include specialist talent support services company - Complete Resourcing, leading full service national law firm - Shoosmiths, and independent media and technology company - HeBe Works.