The Merseyway Innovation Centre, a flexible workspace in Stockport, has officially opened its doors to tenants. Led by innovation director Naomi Timperley and centre manager Rob Kates, the facility offers a range of flexible accommodation options and a 1,000 sq ft business lounge. In addition to workspace, the centre will also provide strategic coaching and growth innovation support to occupiers, alongside a calendar of networking events and workshops for the community. To commemorate the opening, the centre hosted representatives from the local business community.
One of the first companies to occupy the innovation centre is New Possible, which uses artificial intelligence and people insights to help business leaders boost engagement and productivity from their employees. Steve Oliver, CEO of musicMagpie and chair of Stockport Economic Alliance, expressed delight at the launch, stating that the centre will be critical to the borough’s diverse economy. Oliver also believes that the space has the potential to support start-ups that can grow into national organisations.
Coun Mark Hunter, leader of Stockport Council, also expressed his approval of the Merseyway Innovation Centre, stating that it is part of the ambitious plan to invest in the borough and provide state-of-the-art facilities to residents and businesses. Jo Stevens, managing director of Oxford Innovation Space, which manages the centre on behalf of Stockport Council, stressed the importance of the community that innovation spaces build as they foster collaboration and mutual learning.
Funding from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (via Northern Powerhouse), Stockport Council and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Cultural Development Fund managed by Arts Council England has made this new innovation centre possible. Oxford Innovation Space is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, managing 31 centres across the country.