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Success of Cornwall's first innovation centre in Pool

By bevcoumbe  |  Posted: October 10, 2013

Innovation

(L-R): George Eustice MP for Camborne and Redruth, Richard Scutt, manager of Pool Innovation centre, Professor Ray Playford, deputy vice-chancellor of Plymouth University, Bernard Curren, director of Cornwall Innovation, pictured outside the innovation centre at a VIP event to mark the third anniversary of the facility.

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Cornwall's first innovation centre in Pool is celebrating its third anniversary as recent figures show it has led to 100 new jobs as well as supporting neighbouring businesses.

Pool Innovation Centre (PIC) is now home to 48 companies which employ more than 250 people - reporting an annual growth rate of 40 per cent – much higher than the national growth rate average of 10 per cent.

The centre has also seen the fortunes improve at businesses in Camborne and Redruth, including the Penventon Hotel in Redruth, which has seen an extra £150,000 business thanks to the centre opening.

Richard Scutt, manager of PIC, said: “It has been a fantastic three years and we are delighted and proud to see the tangible results that PIC has had, both for the businesses based here and for the wider business community as a whole.

“Cornwall needs progressive and innovative businesses, and PIC creates an inspirational and inclusive environment that helps businesses to thrive, rather than just survive.”

Aaron Pascoe, general manager of Penventon Hotel, said: “Having the Innovation Centre two miles away in Pool has been significant to us. It’s impossible to measure the overall impact but we’ve seen an increase in trade over the last three years of close to £150,000 which we know is mainly down to PIC.

“It’s fantastic to have a facility like this in the Camborne and Redruth area, and it has really lifted the esteem of the area.”

Pool Innovation Centre opened next to the Cornwall College campus in 2010, and further innovation centres have since opened at Tremough in Penryn in 2012 and the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Truro in 2013.

With 48 businesses currently based at PIC it is operating at 95 per cent full, but some of the companies will be moving on soon to bigger premises, making space for new companies to move in.

The innovation centres are much more than office space alone, with the PIC team providing a network of support ranging from providing first-class conference and meeting room facilities to running HR and sales training clinics.

Duncan Sim, landlord of the Plume of Feathers pub in Pool, said: “Since PIC opened, it has been great for trade for us – and a real boost to the area.”

Smaller companies have benefited too. Louise Reynolds from Healthy Boxes, a delivery service of seasonal Cornish grown vegetables, said: “It has been a huge help working with PIC because a lot of my business comes through schools so in the summer months there is a dip in sales and having PIC to visit has been great.”

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