A digital incubator is set to come to Harrogate town centre following a decision by Councillor Graham Swift on 5 February 2019 to approve the appointment of consultants Creative Space Management.
The Harrogate Digital Incubator will be housed at Springfield House in the Harrogate Convention Centre and will provide flexible working spaces and equipment to suit individual or small businesses that want to move into the town centre.
As well as office space, it will provide peer-to-peer support, event and meeting space, a business support hub, workshops as well as one-to-one advice on a number of subjects including business plans and financial support. It will also focus its efforts to support and build local expertise in the tech, digital and media industries.
Digital consultancy and property management firm Creative Space Management, who have more than 15 years’ experience, will be working in partnership with the borough council to implement this project.
The project came about thanks to a successful bid for £540,000 from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool to create a digital incubator in the vacant council owned office space at Springfield House.
Councillor Graham Swift, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, said:
"The Harrogate Digital Incubator will not only provide a modern work space, in the heart of the town centre, but a space where businesses can work individually or together to share knowledge, receive advice and fundamentally grow their business.
Given the scale of this investment we decided to appoint a specialist in this field. Creative Space Management has worked all over the UK and has a proven track record of establishing digital incubators that succeed and thrive. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with their team of experts and learning from their vast knowledge in this field."
There is evidence nationally and globally that digital incubators are successful at creating collaborative working between small businesses, and with the added benefit of being supported by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it will help create partnership with regional partners.
Councillor Swift added:
"There are several examples of this type of project working successfully in other towns and cities and we have spoken to many of them to understand how to make them effective in creating high-quality jobs for local people.
This project is a critical part of our economic growth strategy, a long-term plan for business growth in the region, and I’m really excited to support its development."
Work will start in the coming weeks with the hope of the digital incubator opening for businesses in October.
The project forms part of the council’s economic growth strategy that aims to attract businesses to the district, create high-quality jobs as well as improving the local transport infrastructure, in a bid to create a more sustainable economy for the future. Further details about the strategy are available here.