Enterprise Hubs to support new businesses in Gloucestershire

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The University of Gloucestershire have unveiled their new Enterprise Hubs at Isbourne House in Cheltenham.

Martin Horwood MP, a supporter of incubation and innovation, paid a visit to the new Enterprise Hub before the official opening, and was shown around the new facilities by Michael Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, and Dr Basil Omar, Enterprise and Incubation Manager at the University of Gloucestershire.

Martin Horwood MP’s visit during the day time, before the event. Image includes: Martin Horwood MP, Michael Ratcliffe – Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and Basil Omar – Enterprise and Incubation Manager from the University of Gloucestershire.

During his visit, Martin Horwood MP said: “I think this will be good for Cheltenham, good for business start-ups and good for job creation. Government is proud that these types of ventures have helped create one million jobs so far and I think we need to create one million more. Enterprise Hubs can go a long way in helping with that.”

Managed by the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the innovative Enterprise Hubs will enable start-up business directors and entrepreneurs to rent serviced office space, with access to mentoring, skills development and a support network, providing the support they need to grow and succeed.

Ribbon Cutting at the official opening featuring:

Lord Mayor of Cheltenham – Councillor Wendy Flynn; Stephen Marston Vice Chancellor; Michael Ratcliffe – Chief Executive of Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and Basil Omar – Enterprise and Incubation Manager from the University of Gloucestershire.

At the official opening event, business leaders and entrepreneurs were given a tour of the new facilities and mingled some of the universities entrepreneurial graduates. 

Building on the highly successful Quays Creative project in Gloucester Docks, Isbourne House is the second Enterprise Hub to be launched in the county, following the Blackfriars Inn launch last week in Gloucester.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston said: “The University is passionate about encouraging enterprise and supporting entrepreneurial activity. By creating these new enterprise hubs, here in Gloucester and in Cheltenham, we will be able to support around 100 start-up companies in the county.

“Gloucestershire has a fine tradition of innovation, and we know that future growth in the economy will depend on more people having the capability and confidence to set up new enterprises. These splendid new enterprise hubs will provide an ideal setting for University graduates and others to put their creative ideas into practice. Along with our partners at Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils and with the support of the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership we have developed a programme that will give fledgling businesses the best possible chance of success.”
The project is worth around €1 million in total, including match funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is part of a programme offering a range of support services to the wider community of entrepreneurs in the county. The project has the objective of improving the survival and success rates of over 100 Gloucestershire businesses over a three-year period.
Budding entrepreneurs with new business ideas are invited to get in touch with the University to find out more about renting space within the Blackfriars Inn, Quays Creative or the Isbourne House site. More information is available at
The University would also like to hear from mentors, investors or service providers with experience of supporting early stage start-ups. Anyone willing to help in supporting new businesses can get in touch by emailing [email protected] or call Catherine Briggs, Incubation Administrator, on 01242 714646 for further information.

The Innovation Gloucestershire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit…

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University provides a wide range of services to business: for more information visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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