Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, visited the site to celebrate the milestone and review progress.
He said: ““Today was a landmark in the development of the Innovation Centre which opens its doors next year. We have invested £2million into the Innovation Centre and helped to secure a further £2m funding from the South East LEP.
“It will provide excellent business facilities, space and hands on start-up support for 50 local businesses and organisations as part of the Knowledge Gateway business park development at the Colchester Campus.
“Colchester is recognised as a place where digital businesses cluster and the Centre will support further expansion of this sector by providing the right type of workspaces. Our investment into the Innovation Centre supports our commitment to drive economic growth in Essex.”
Our Registrar Bryn Morris said: “It’s fantastic to see the Innovation Centre emerging we’re all really excited about the benefits it will bring to the local economy, the University and to our students from the spring of 2019. It will cement the Knowledge Gateway’s position as the location of choice for innovative, agile businesses in the east of England. We’re grateful to Essex County Council and South East Local Enterprise Partnership for being such strong supporters of this project.”
Our topping out celebration was also attended by SELEP's Essex Vice Chair George Kieffer.
Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “This shows how our universities can play an invaluable role in nurturing entrepreneurship and employability through the creation of spin-outs and start-ups. As these businesses grow, the next challenge is how to keep them locally, and this is where the Knowledge Gateway comes into its own by providing the space to accommodate their commercial success.
“The Innovation Centre is exactly the type of project we want to support in our role as champions for economic growth in Essex, Southend and Thurrock, alongside East Sussex, and Kent and Medway, as part of our Strategic Economic Plan.”