Hundreds of jobs could be created at a new £9m centre to support enterprise and innovation in Sunderland and across the region.
Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub, currently being developed by the University of Sunderland, is expected to attract and create over 120 innovative growth businesses over five years, generating around 250 jobs, with a further 400 created over the longer term.
The new Centre, at the University’s City Centre Campus, has been devised following collaboration with the city’s firms via Sunderland Business Group, the North East LEP and Sunderland City Council.
Plans for the city centre site will be supported by a £3.5m investment from the North East LEP, through the Government’s recently unveiled Growth Deal programme.
Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub will support and nurture businesses in Sunderland and the wider region with their plans to grow and become more innovative.
Companies will benefit from laboratory space, space to trial new ideas and bring them closer to market, and space for creative businesses.
They will also have on hand world-leading academic expertise, student and graduate support, as well as access to a network of other professionals.
Within the new centre there will be a focus on the University of Sunderland’s specialist areas - advanced manufacturing, health, sciences and the creative industries.
The centre allows the university to further build on its 15 years of support in enterprise and innovation, and gives it the ability to support three times as many businesses than at present.
Shirley Atkinson, deputy vice chancellor at the university, said: “The Hub will be a crucial driver for growth in enterprise and innovation in Sunderland and the wider region.
“We have a successful track record in this area, and thanks to the generous support of the LEP and the valuable contribution of Sunderland Business Group and Sunderland City Council, we can build further on this success.
“Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub will create an environment which will encourage and allow the University community to work better with entrepreneurs and businesses in the North East to innovate and create wealth and jobs to support the economy for years to come.”