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Oxford Innovation is New Manager of The Nucleus business and innovation centre, Dartford


Dartford Borough Council and ProLogis Developments Ltd have appointed Oxford Innovation as the new manager of The Nucleus business and innovation centre, Dartford. The building is located in the heart of The Bridge site, a £500 million mixed-use regeneration project in Dartford that is a joint venture between the Council and ProLogis.

The purpose built 30,000 sq ft centre, known as The Nucleus, provides a range of high quality office space for up to 65 start-up and growing companies associated with the science and technology sectors and a virtual office service.

In addition to The Nucleus, The Bridge development will incorporate a science and business park with over 1,038,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space, an industrial park of which 670,000 sq ft has been pre-let to J Sainsbury plc, as well as 1,500 new homes.

The appointment of Oxford Innovation is part of a longer-term strategy to develop a bedrock of new knowledge-based businesses in Dartford and the Thames Gateway.

Companies at The Nucleus will benefit from state of the art offices on flexible terms, and a range of support provided by Oxford Innovation that includes access to investment networks and a venture capital fund, links to research establishments, networking events and mentoring. Creative businesses have use of a stunning I-Lab creative thinking space while environmental technology firms will be able to access specialist expertise provided through the Institute for Sustainability, a centre of research excellence that is based at The Bridge.

Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, has an impressive track record and unique experience of nurturing technology businesses. It manages 11 other innovation centres and offers business support services to more than 350 start-up companies.

Graham Harris, managing director of Dartford Borough Council, said: “Our appointment of Oxford Innovation means that we can continue to provide early stage, high growth businesses at The Nucleus with a combination of high quality premises and the specialist business support they need to grow and contribute to the economic prosperity of Dartford and the Thames Gateway area.”

Paul Weston, senior vice president at ProLogis, said: “Oxford Innovation is a leading operator of innovation centres and we are pleased to be working with them at The Nucleus. They bring the specialist skills and networks required to provide early stage businesses with the best possible chance of success and to meet their needs as they develop and grow.”

The Nucleus currently has 22 occupiers and 11 companies using its virtual office service with 65% of the space occupied. Oxford Innovation is looking forward to increasing the number of clients using the high quality facility.

Dr Alex Smeets, centre director at The Nucleus, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Dartford Borough Council and ProLogis. Our aim is to develop The Nucleus as a flagship innovation centre that will be a hub of entrepreneurial activity for early stage technology companies in Dartford.”

“The Nucleus is ideally located right at the heart of the sustainable business community at The Bridge. We look forward to welcoming more entrepreneurs who would like to benefit from superb office facilities combined with access to business support and the opportunity to make new contacts that could prove invaluable in helping to grow their businesses.”

- ENDS -
Notes for editors
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director
Tel: + 44 (0)1865 811199 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photos available on request
1. The Nucleus business and innovation centre at The Bridge, Dartford.
2. Dr Alex Smeets, centre director, with Graham Harris, managing director of Dartford Borough Council, at The Nucleus business and innovation centre, Dartford.

About The Nucleus
The Nucleus business and innovation centre is a joint venture between Dartford Borough Council and ProLogis Developments Ltd and is managed by Oxford Innovation. The Nucleus is designed to house up to 65 innovative start-up and growing companies and offers 30,000 sq ft of space with offices ranging from under 75 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. It is located in the heart of The Bridge site, a £500 million, mixed-use development comprising 264 acres of office, laboratory, industrial and living space that makes it one of the most advanced mixed-use developments in the Thames Gateway. The Nucleus is situated directly off the M25 and within a short distance of Dartford rail station.
For more information: www.thebridgedartford.co.uk/working/nucleus/

About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise. The company operates a network of innovation centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space and business support services to technology, knowledge-based and creative companies throughout the UK.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the investment networks have helped over 90 companies raise £19.5m. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions include SQW Consulting, which provides consultancy services in sustainable economic and social development to public sector organisations; SQW Energy, which provides energy market design and carbon management services and SQW Asia, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to Asia and the international market. For more information: www.sqwgroup.com

About ProLogis Developments Ltd
ProLogis is one of the largest providers of distribution space in the UK with a distribution portfolio totalling approximately 20 million square feet. Major UK customers include ASOS.com, Bosch-Siemens, The Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, DHL, GEFCO, Honda Logistics, Sainsbury's, Screwfix, SpecSavers and Superdrug. For more information: www.prologis.com


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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