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New Enterprise Centre to nurture entrepreneurial talent

Thu 15 Nov 2012

A multi-million pound commercial hub dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurial talent, knowledge sharing and local business engagement is to be created by London South Bank University (LSBU).

LSBU's new Enterprise Centre at St George's Cross will create a hub to nurture entrepreneurial talent

Set to open in September 2013, the new Enterprise Centre will see 17 vacant Grade II listed buildings at St George's Circus in LSBU's Southwark campus - many of which have been disused for decades - transformed into a hive of enterprise and community activity.

The major regeneration work will create a dedicated hub, with meeting spaces for businesses and community organisations, and a welcoming gateway to opportunities with the University.

The £13.5million scheme, which has been granted planning and listed building consents from Southwark Council, will include incubation space for some 100 allied retail units and meeting rooms. It will also include an open public reception space, gallery, cafe and courtyard for networking.

LSBU's Enterprise team will be based at the building, offering advice and mentoring opportunities for students and firms located there, forging links between the University and the wider business community.

It is anticipated that activity from new and expanding businesses based there, including those run by current and former LSBU students, will help to considerably boost the local economy.

Beverley Jullien, Pro Vice-Chancellor at LSBU, said: "This is a significant milestone in London South Bank University's vision to become 'London's Enterprising University'.

"Our main focus is to help our students to achieve academic and professional success, and our new Enterprise Centre will foster the entrepreneurial ambitions of students and staff, supporting them to make even closer connections with business and industry.

"The Centre will also reinforce the University's commitment to business start-ups and knowledge transfer, creating invaluable space and resources for local businesses."

LSBU's Chancellor and renowned business entrepreneur Richard Farleigh said: "In these testing economic times, entrepreneurialism and innovation are vital to kick-start the country's economy - this scheme will give new and expanding businesses a real chance of succeeding."

Tim Gebbels, LSBU's Director of Enterprise, said: "The scheme shows that we really mean business and that we are investing in our students' future and the future of our community. The Enterprise Centre has enormous potential to be a significant catalyst to the local economy, supporting the growth of new local businesses."

In addition to the renovation of all listed properties, the scheme involves an element of new build to the rear, including environmentally-friendly features.

The £7.2million building contract for the scheme has been awarded to Neilcott Construction Ltd, based at Orpington, Kent. The architect and lead designers for the development were Rivington Street Studio.

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