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Record breaking Harwell Innovation Centre

Record breaking Harwell Innovation Centre

Harwell Innovation Centre, located at the Harwell Oxford Campus near Didcot, is celebrating its 15th year since opening with record occupancy figures at 96 per cent as it provides a hub for 78 businesses employing over 200 people across 38 professions.

Since the beginning of April 2015, Harwell Innovation Centre has welcomed eight new businesses and has seen the success of its customers soar with companies such as NEPTEC, SATcase, Redwave and ASF expanding internally, helping to push the centre’s occupancy figure to its record level.

The centre opened in 2000 with support from the UK Atomic Energy Authority and is managed by Oxford Innovation, the leading operator of business and innovation centres in the UK.

Sandie Alcock, centre manager for Harwell Innovation Centre and Culham Innovation Centre, who manages over 100 customers across both centres, said:

“We have such a diverse range of companies of different sizes at Harwell Innovation Centre covering a multitude of sectors ranging from space and technology through to professional services, a private investigator and a freelance auctioneer!  Oxford Innovation has created a flexible space and a community that clearly allows businesses to prosper. Our record occupancy is a testament to that, along with the hard work of our dedicated team.” 

IT solutions provider Planet IT is one of Harwell Innovation Centre’s longest residents having moved to the centre in 2005.  Started by childhood friends Sean Smith and Gavin Jones, who created their first business together at the age of 12, ‘G&S Car Washing,’ Planet IT is now a multi award winning business.

Sean Smith comments: “We have always found Harwell Innovation Centre a huge help to our business, the flexible office space and storage options really helped our growth. There’s a friendly, flexible team of staff who are always willing to help and after 10 years at the Innovation Centre, I would highly recommend any new business to consider the centre as its first home, due to the networking opportunities and business initiatives available to tenants at no extra cost!”

Harwell Innovation Centre has just over 25,000 sq. ft. of office space ranging from 100 sq. ft. to 1,700 sq. ft.  Serviced offices are available to let at short notice and the centre’s flexible approach means businesses can take more space within the centre as they expand.

Sandie Alcock continues: “The new Harwell Campus team and Oxford Innovation team have an extremely strong relationship, which is helping us to grow.  This has been supported by Harwell’s proactive marketing and clear vision of how the site will evolve over the next 50 years, helping to add kudos to our innovation centre.” 

Ms Alcock also manages Culham Innovation Centre based at Culham Science Centre.  In contrast to the diverse number of businesses based at Harwell Innovation Centre, Culham has found its niche by specialising in lab, workshop and office space for science and technology businesses.

Harwell Innovation Centre provides serviced offices, virtual offices and a range of conference and meeting room facilities, all designed to allow customers’  to focus on the growth and day to day running of their business. The Centre is managed by Oxford Innovation.