Occupancy levels at the new £12m iHub innovation centre on Infinity Park have passed the 50% mark – just six months after the building officially opened its doors to tenants.
Since it was launched last Autumn, the 45,000 ft2 facility has attracted a diverse range of SMEs and large businesses from across the rail, aerospace and automotive supply industries.
The latest new tenants include engineering design specialists Addqual and Ultra Biotecs, which was founded by Peter Barr CBE, who was responsible for turning Hazlewood Foods into one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of pre-made sandwiches.
They join the likes of London-based cloud data consultants Elastacloud; Sciemetric, which tests and monitors processes across the assembly line, and patent and trademark attorneys, Serjeants, who were previously based at Leicester’s own hi-tech innovation hub.
A further 40% of accommodation is currently under negotiation, which will take the building to 90% occupancy within its first year of trading.
The iHub, which has Enterprise Zone status, is the centre piece of Infinity Park, the new 100-acre manufacturing focused commercial and technology site, strategically located between Sinfin and Chellaston, to the south of the city.
It is close to the world headquarters of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace and within 15 minutes of OEMs including Bombardier, Toyota and JCB, with direct links to the A50 and just five minutes from the M1.
The iHub will offer a supportive and collaborative environment to enable businesses to innovate, grow and develop. It provides high quality, flexible workspace for start-ups, early stage businesses and high growth SME’s looking to expand their role within the and hi-tech sectors.
As well as offering 18 traditional office workspaces (from 127 ft2 to 970 ft2), the iHub provides 14 ground floor workshops for businesses seeking a more hybrid working environment.
The state-of-the art workshops range in size from 375 ft2 to 4,451 ft2 and will cater for a broad range of uses in a managed workspace environment.
An exciting addition to the facilities available at the iHub is the innovative ‘iLab’, which promotes invention by enabling the rapid prototyping of a range of products and services. It also boasts high end virtual reality, 3D printing and surface microscope equipment.
The building also offers a multi-purpose ‘heart space’ area, available for hosting external conferences and events, along with meeting and seminar rooms. A café bar is set to be launched later this year.
Speaking about the success of the iHub since its launch, Alan Smith, head of economic regeneration at Derby City Council, said:
“I am delighted that businesses have shown their commitment to the iHub and we are already 50% let, which is well ahead of our own forecast.
“This demonstrates that the building is exactly the right product for the right market.”
Ann Bhatti, Connect Derby manager, added:
“We’re absolutely delighted with the positive reaction that the iHub has received since it joined the Connect Derby portfolio of buildings last Spring.
“Our new tenants have chosen the iHub because of its strategic location in the region, the hi-specification office and workshop accommodation and state-of-the-art equipment and business support services that are on offer. We look forward to announcing more new tenants in the coming weeks.”
The iHub builds on the success of the hugely popular Connect Derby scheme, which has created a strong market for mixed use and sector specific serviced offices across the city at its six other buildings – Friar Gate Studios, Marble Hall, Riverside Chambers, Sadler Bridge Studios, Kings Chambers and Shot Tower.
The development has received funding from the Regional Growth Fund and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as Derby City Council and the University of Derby.