We asked Alistair Forbes, SME Growth Manager at Harrogate Borough Council to tell us more:
Over the last few years, we’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked us, “are there any co-working or ‘incubator’ office spaces in Harrogate?”, and up until recently the answer has been “no”. This got us thinking; we need to find a way to meet this demand, and actually it needs to be dedicated to Digital, Creative and Tech businesses who really need this type of space.
What we’ve been working on since has led to the development of Co-Lab in Harrogate, due to open on 22nd November 2021.
Based within Harrogate Convention Centre, on Kings Road, Co-Lab will offer a modern and attractive office space. The key features being –
- Co-working desk space with lounge area.
- 10 serviced offices with desk space for 2-10 people.
- High speed secure broadband included.
- Meeting room for 12 people with convenient AV conferencing setup.
- Kitchen area with coffee machine, shower room, toilets and facilities.
The unique feature of Co-Lab, however, will be the collaborative environment, where start-ups and established businesses can gain access to advice and guidance on funding and investment, how to grow as an entrepreneur, help with talent recruitment, and learning sessions that will help tech businesses thrive.
What does the Co-Lab environment look like? Well, it starts mainly with the delivery of regionally and nationally funded and delivered business growth programmes, facilitated by in-house Growth Managers Alistair Forbes and Beata Olah.
The programme is delivered in partnership by Oxford Innovation Service, under contract with Leeds City Region LEP and part funded by the European Union – England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.
Co-Lab is also delivering bespoke support onsite at our workspace for the local tech community by securing subject experts to provide inspiring group workshops, starting from 24th November. Details and how to register can be found here: https://harrogateco-lab.eventbrite.co.uk/
To join us at Co-Lab, you’ll ideally need to be a business in the “Digital & Creative Industries sector”. That includes businesses involved in fintech, augmented reality and virtual reality, digital health, film/animation production, music production, digital content creation/management, immersive tech/content, publishing, cyber security, data, gaming, or product design. The business will also need to be one with a scalable product or service, with the ambition to grow and employ people.
Co-Lab has been created and will be run by Harrogate Borough Council, as a key element in its Economic Growth Strategy, with the aim of helping the district economy to grow. With £540,000 external grant funding obtained through the ‘Leeds City Region Business Rate Pool’, the Co-Lab project has enabled the creation of an attractive office space environment that can form the foundation of our ambition to enhance the digital and tech eco-system in our area. By using some of the Think Harrogate Visual Toolkit, we’ve also been able to integrate a look and feel which, we think, slots in really well with what’s great about Harrogate district.
Co-Lab will be focussed on Digital and Tech businesses, and we are inviting anyone interested in collaborating with the business community to talk to us. From designers, to hardware specialists, technologists, marketeers and developers, our aim is that everyone works together to help our community become more successful.
If you’re interested in finding out more, or getting involved, then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org