Finding the right location for its new food testing laboratory proved harder than PiQ had imagined.
The start-up had spent some time looking at possible sites across the South of the UK, finding that many business parks did not relish having a laboratory on site, for various reasons.
At Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre, though, UKSE was delighted to help. The business centre’s owners were delighted that PiQ Laboratories would be bringing skilled, technical jobs and recruiting locally, and went to great lengths to accommodate the new business. So in 2018 the testing facility began work at EVIC, testing for dangerous food allergens and making sure food labelling was accurate, and safe.
PiQ took one of EVIC’s high spec workshops and transformed it, with UKSE support, into a state-of-the-art laboratory, UKAS-accredited and serving leading food manufacturers.
"We spent some time trying to find the right location. There were some places that did not want a laboratory on their site, but at EVIC they were great. The staff here were very happy to work with us and help us get established."Ashleigh Hirst-Knowles, Laboratory Manager
How we did it.
As a scientific facility, PiQ had special requirements, and the first step was to understand these. Once this was the case, UKSE worked closely with PiQ to get the business up and running. UKSE already had experience in this having helped PHH establish a high-tech laboratory in their Cardiff Bay Business Centre to analyse hazardous materials such as asbestos.
Our local knowledge was important too in putting the new company in touch with other agencies which would be able to help with business support, recruitment and other matters. Working with Blaenau Gwent Council, UKSE helped PiQ obtain a £1000 Kickstart grant – a scheme we run jointly with the local authority.
This close collaboration between the incoming tenant and landlord has paid dividends. PiQ employs 5, and is expanding its essential work with new clients across the UK, in Spain and Ireland.
A high-tech testing laboratory set up
PiQ is expanding the workforce taking on local people
A new dynamic business has come to the area