To mark the opening of the flexible, high-quality office and meeting space based in the heart of Stockport town centre, the event welcomed people from the regional business community to see the centre and hear from guest speakers about the wealth of benefits it offers to occupants and to the town.
Led by Innovation Director Naomi Timperley and Centre Manager Rob Kates, the centre will provide strategic coaching and growth innovation support to businesses who use the space, alongside a calendar of networking events and workshops for the centre’s community.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “I was delighted to be part of the official launch event and to showcase this fantastic new space with guests from our business community. Merseyway Innovation Centre is the latest example of the ambition we have to invest in our borough, and to bring best in class facilities to our businesses and residents.”
Steve Oliver, CEO of musicMagpie plc and Chair of Stockport Economic Alliance, said: “Merseyway Innovation Centre has been a big-ticket item in the Stockport Economic Plans, and to see it completed is brilliant – this is an incredible environment. One of our key priorities is making space available for offices where new and growing businesses can thrive. As such, the centre will be vital to the vibrant and diverse economy we have across the borough.
“With flexible terms and wrap around support, the Merseyway Innovation Centre will provide its community with the mechanisms and tools for a more secure future. Any business using this space has the potential to become a national organisation grown out of Stockport. We firmly believe huge oaks will grow from the acorns that are planted here.
“A huge well done must go to all those involved for driving this project forward and achieving what we see today – from the contractors and architects to the funding bodies who’ve backed this every step of the way, to the team now running it day-to-day.”
Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Space – which manages Merseyway Innovation Centre on behalf of Stockport Council – said: “We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Stockport Council, who have been brave and bold in reimagining empty retail space to be an innovation space for businesses and entrepreneurs in the town. Stepping inside the centre today really makes my heart sing and I know that the team here are going to drive this forward and make it the place for businesses in Stockport.
“There is huge interest in spaces like this up and down the country. Innovation spaces are about more than the walls and the square footage that businesses occupy. It’s about the community you build in the space, the businesses that learn from one another, the support we provide and the other experts that we bring in. These things make a difference. Today, this truly feels like the place where Stockport businesses want to be.”
Merseyway Innovation Centre is part of the Innovate Stockport portfolio, which includes Stockport Business & Innovation Centre at Broadstone Mill and Merchants House in the Market Place. Merseyway Innovation Centre offers flexible accommodation from coworking space, to shared offices and individual units from 100 sq ft up to 570 sq ft plus a 1,000 sq ft business lounge. It also offers cycling facilities and vital digital connectivity offering Gigabit-capable broadband.
Merseyway Innovation Centre has been made possible through funding from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (via Northern Powerhouse), Stockport Council and from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Cultural Development Fund managed by Arts Council England.