Ebbw Vale centre celebrates 20 years of success.
As it celebrates 20 years supporting growing businesses, Ebbw Vale Innovation Centre has been given a stylish makeover.
Launched in 2003 and then doubled in size seven years later, the high-tech business centre was a bold investment by owners UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel.
And 20 years on, that investment in the local economy has paid off, drawing in investment and continuing to create well-paid, skilled and lasting jobs in technology, science, the professions and social enterprise in a community of high-end office space and well-appointed workshops.
“The intention was to invest in the area and at the same time make a statement that North Gwent and its surrounds was open for business and welcomed investment, particularly in local, technological businesses with growth potential,” said UKSE Regional Executive Howard Thompson.
Tata Steel, through UKSE, has continued to develop EVIC over the years, and to mark the anniversary the centre has been given an uplift improving and updating the working environment for its business tenants.
“We have installed comfortable pods for work and meetings, enhanced the breakout areas and given the communal spaces a thorough redesign and redecoration, and the overall results are impressive,” added Howard.
In many ways ahead of its time in 2003, EVIC heralded a new era of modern business accommodation as Wales moved confidently into its post-industrial economy. From day one EVIC has enjoyed high occupancy and has raised the bar in terms of bringing quality business accommodation to the area.
“There are many reasons for its success,” said Howard. “Clearly the standards of facilities here are very high, but also we have worked hard to understand our tenants and cater for their needs.
“We are here for businesses with growth potential, which, by their nature, develop and change and we are set up to support them in their journey,” added Howard.
Examples which demonstrate EVIC working closely with tenants to facilitate their expansion are Copner Biotech and Adient Aerospace. Copner Biotech chose EVIC as its research and development centre and is flourishing. EVIC is also home to international business Adient Aerospace which designs and manufactures luxury airline seating, and has quadrupled its presence since arriving.
EVIC’s strategic location, with good road and rail links, has been another important factor in its success. It is a ten-minute drive from the A465, and a short walk from Ebbw Vale Parkway station. Newport is only a 40-minute drive, and Cardiff an hour away by car. The beautiful Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, or Brecon Beacons as it used to be known, is a very popular attraction just a few miles away.
A serviced reception welcomes guests and handles post, and EVIC is accessible 24- hours a day, enabling tenants to work when they need to. Security is high with CCTV surveillance, alarm systems and security key-holders. Video-conferencing facilities have also been recently updated.
A thriving business community has developed at EVIC and many businesses have benefitted from this. “We have a range of tenants working across many sectors, and a strong community spirit,” he added.