A five-year milestone was marked at a busy Enterprise M3 funded innovation centre in East Hampshire.
BASE Bordon Innovation Centre which offers flexible private offices, co-working and meeting spaces and on-site support, held a lunchtime gathering to celebrate its success with past and present clients, along with organisations who have supported the facility.
Since opening in November 2017, the centre, managed by Oxford Innovation Space, has been home to 74 entrepreneurs, SMEs and start-up businesses, creating 79 jobs.
Situated in the EZ3 Enterprise Zone, the renovated Victorian building had previously been used as an Army officers’ mess, at the former Louisburg Barracks, in Bordon.
The centre which provides over 8,800 sq ft of lettable space, got off the ground when EM3 provided £4 million funding to the site’s owners, Homes England, kick-starting a new economic hub with the aim of attracting businesses and jobs to the new town.
One of the first entrepreneurs to take residence was Doug Liddle and his start-up satellite business In-Space Missions. It developed and grew to take up four units within the centre before relocating to larger premises in Alton and was recently bought by BAE Systems.
Doug recalled being given the green light by the centre when he asked: “Can we build a spacecraft here?” Since then, the business took off. “We suddenly had customers meeting us here, where we felt like a real company and not something operating out of a bedroom – that made such a difference for us,” said Doug.
Impressed with the range of options on offer from hot desking to meeting rooms, and the collaborative atmosphere, Doug said: “The whole time we were here there was a constant flow of amazing support, which was brilliant.” Doug added: “Different organisations were invited in by the centre to give talks, to offer coaching and training – it completely transformed our business.”
Reflecting on when she first stood in the building, shortly after it had been acquired by Homes England from the Ministry of Defence, Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovations Space, said: “It’s been quite a transformation as the building was in a bad state of repair.”
“We wanted to create a space that gave a nod to its heritage and remembered its past, but also created an environment that would be a modern and exciting place for people to start and grow their businesses and I hope you will agree we have created that here.”
EM3 Senior Project Officer Fiona McMurray said: “BASE Bordon and the In-Space Missions journey clearly demonstrate exactly what the innovation centre is all about, helping businesses to start, grow and move on to better things.”
BASE Bordon, 60 Barbados Road
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