Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre (EVIC) has proved a tremendous success since its launch 14 years ago, making a considerable contribution to the local economy.
The high-tech centre is one of the most prestigious business venues in South Wales with cutting edge facilities. It is home to 55 businesses including technical, professional and social enterprises.
In 2010 EVIC was doubled in size when its owners, Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) made a further substantial investment in the business centre, continuing to support the local economy and create quality jobs.
Tenants have benefitted from the freedom of flexible arrangements, and praised its features. These include 40,000 sq ft of space in a mixture of offices and workshops, fully equipped meeting rooms, excellent security, serviced reception, 24 hour access, super-fast broadband, and a gym and sauna complex for the tenants.
The centre’s strategic location, with good road and rail links, has been another important factor in its success.
Glyn Thomas, UKSE Manager in Wales, explained why EVIC had flourished. “The aim was to raise the standard of business accommodation in the area, and this is certainly something EVIC has achieved,” he said.
As well as this, EVIC offers flexible terms to expanding businesses which are aiming to grow. “Our terms reflect the fact that businesses cannot always predict the future and their needs may change as they develop,” he said.
A thriving business community has developed at EVIC and many businesses have benefitted from this. “EVIC has a range of businesses, and a strong community spirit,” added Mr Thomas.
UKSE also invests directly in growing businesses, providing equity investment and loan finance and takes an understanding approach to helping you grow your business. ”As the regeneration arm of Tata Steel, we focus on those parts of the UK that have been affected by changes in the steel industry and have supported thousands of businesses since 1975,” he added.
“Investment funding up to £1m is an excellent way to fund rapid growth or the acquisition of a company. We can provide equity finance for working capital, equipment purchase, premises, relocations, management buy-outs (MBOs), management buy-ins (MBIs) and other funding requirements across many business sectors including manufacturing and services to businesses.
“Our equity investments, usually comprising of shares and loans, are available on terms that are individually negotiated for each investment. We don’t want to run your company and whilst we will require a minority stake, we leave control with you.” added Mr Thomas.