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UMIC incubator for Stockport gets Council thumbs-up

21 Dec 2007

Stockport Council has given a big thumbs-up to developing a not-for-profit Community Interest Company to take forward business incubation space at Broadstone Mill, in partnership with the University of Manchester Incubator Company (UMIC).

As part of its Community Pride campaign, Stockport Council has agreed to invest in the new company along with the landlord, Broadstone House Ltd, to provide 12,000 sq ft of state of the art workspace and incubation facilities designed to nurture and grow new and small businesses.

The fusion of Council, University and private enterprise is an exciting venture for the local businesses community in Reddish, providing an additional resource within an already vibrant enterprise environment that exists across Houldsworth and Broadstone Mills.

The University of Manchester is keen to play its part in supporting the development of science and technology-based industries in the northwest. UMIC has helped more than 50 companies to set up and now manages more than 250,000 sq ft of incubator space across five Greater Manchester locations.

Broadstone Mill plays an important role in the Council's mill regeneration strategy which seeks to guide the future development of mill premises throughout Stockport. During 2007 Broadstone Mill has celebrated its centenary year, and Councillor Dave Goddard, Leader of Stockport Council, announced the good news at a special event held to both celebrate the past and embrace the future for Reddish.

Councillor Goddard, said: "As part of our Community Pride campaign we have been eager to invest and support entrepreneurialism in the borough. By bringing part of Broadstone Mill back into use, we'll be able to add value to the local economy by attracting the businesses of the future to Stockport.

"This high quality business incubation facility will provide a supportive environment which will allow companies to quickly develop from a fragile start-up to a resilient and commercially successful business within the borough."
 
Other Reddish mills have already played their part. Stockport Council successfully converted Houldsworth Mill for mixed-use commercial, retail, leisure and residential use, whilst Millshomes Ltd won a 2007 MEN Property Award for its residential conversion of Victoria and Elisabeth Mills.

UMIC has worked with Broadstone Mill since 2005 and the first business incubator offices were opened in 2006. Since then over 17 companies have moved in, some of whom are high-growth university spin-out companies.  But Broadstone's incubator has also attracted a growing number of high-calibre firms to locate in Reddish.

Tony Walker, hi-tech incubator manager at the University of Manchester Incubator Company (UMIC) said: "We encourage tomorrow's industries to locate and develop in Stockport with a view to creating an ongoing wealth and employment base in Houldsworth Village." 
 
"The great thing about working alongside Stockport Councils existing Houldsworth Business Centre means that the area's value and appeal rises with a business incubation service focused on this key location. Companies can access the incubator at a critical growth phase and quickly graduate to follow-on space. A key factor in 'sustainable clusters' is keeping companies and their wealth in the area. We have a huge historical legacy and an attractive asset base to work with."

Ends

For media enquiries relating to UMIC hi-tech businesses please contact Tony Walker UMIC Hi-Tech Incubator Manager on + 44 (0) 7843 329708, + 44 (0) 161 918 6791 or tony.walker@umic.co.uk

Notes to editors

1. About UMIC
The University of Manchester Incubator Company Limited (UMIC) develops and manages office and laboratory facilities alongside a range of mentoring and business support services associated with the University of Manchester's business incubation activities. With a portfolio of bioscience and IT incubators UMIC has helped more than 50 companies to form and grow. Since 1999 over £150 million in investment capital and loans has been raised by Manchester spin-out companies.

2. Images from the Broadstone Mill event are available from Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The University of Manchester on 0161 275 8384 or email: jon.keighren@manchester.ac.uk