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New regional Enterprise hub for Caerphilly welcomed

Posted on : 21 Nov 2018

New regional Enterprise hub for Caerphilly welcomed

The news that Caerphilly has been selected as one of four locations across Wales for a new regional Enterprise hub, which will encourage and support entrepreneurship in Wales, has been welcomed by the council’s Deputy Leader.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates today (Wednesday 21st November) announced Welsh ICE in Caerphilly as the location for one of the four new Enterprise hubs across Wales.

The Welsh Government, partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has invested over £4m in the new Enterprise Hubs, which will provide individuals and companies with the space to network, innovate, establish their enterprises and access a range of support services, such as advice on pitching, workshops and business surgeries.

Entrepreneurs at the hubs will have access to the breadth of support available from Business Wales as well as from partners including colleges, universities, local authorities and the Development Bank of Wales, providing a well-connected, simple and visible support system for entrepreneurs, as championed by Be The Spark.

Cllr Sean Morgan, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economy said, “Welsh ICE have consistently demonstrated the hugely significant impact that they’re having upon the economy in supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship across the region, and we’re very proud that they’ve chosen to call Caerphilly county borough home.

“The future is looking very bright indeed for entrepreneurship across Caerphilly county borough; it is a great place to do business and we warmly welcome this announcement from the Welsh Government. I look forward to seeing even more entrepreneurs benefit from this investment in the near future”.

Welsh ICE Chairman, William Record said the contract was a testament to the impact the Campus has had within the startup and small business community. "Since its founding in 2012, ICE has gone on to grow into an incredible space for startups and small businesses.

"Since then, we've added further buildings and can now boast over 30,000 square foot of office space. Our recent independent report found that businesses at Welsh ICE had generated a net GVA benefit of £53m to the Welsh economy across its eight years. This was due to the vital funding provided by the Welsh Government, which meant that startups were supported for their first year, with free office space, mentorship and super fast broadband access.

This support, combined with the unique, collaborative environment at the ICE Campus, means that more than 77% of businesses that start at ICE go on to survive for three or more years - higher than the UK average of 61%.   

"ICE was the first of its kind in Wales and is still the largest centre outside of London. Its success was the proof of concept for Entrepreneurial hubs in Wales, and it is therefore with great pride that I can say we have been chosen to be the official Entrepreneurial Hub for the South East Wales Valleys. The funding will mean we can build on the outstanding work already taking place on the ICE Campus, and continue to support the next generation of startups that will be the lifeblood of the future economy”.

In his announcement, Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said:

“My Economic Action Plan is clear that supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship across Wales is absolutely crucial if we are to succeed in growing Wales’ economy. And I expect my decision to deliver these business hubs in North West Wales, Mid Wales, the South West Valleys and the South East Valleys to provide a real boost to our regional economies. 

“Alongside the satellite locations, these five hubs  will ensure that budding entrepreneurs in all parts of Wales can access the space and help they need to get their ideas off the ground, creating at least 700 new enterprises and 1160 new quality jobs in the process.  

“The evidence is clear that by working collaboratively and bringing academia, industry and local partners closer together in the right environment we can deliver a host of wider benefits to areas surrounding the hubs. This can only be good news for our economic regions, and for delivering my ambition of ensuring the fruits of prosperity fall much more evenly across Wales. I look forward to seeing entrepreneurs from all parts of Wales benefit at the earliest opportunity.”

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