12months, 20 businesses, 5 live events and launch of Cool Beans Cafe
This week The EpiCentre at Haverhill is celebrating its first anniversary with the announcement that it now has 20 businesses occupying space at the centre, a vibrant co-working space, and is fast becoming a widely recognised hub for Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and North Essex providing support for entrepreneurial growing enterprises.
Centre Manager, Kelly Boosey, says: “What an incredible and extraordinary year it has been. We opened our doors for business in November 2020 deep in COVID lockdown and instead of waiting for businesses to come to us we made a concerted effort to engage with the wider community, emphasising the Business Support package that is available when signing up as we are more than just space.
“We made our presence felt in the local area by offering the building as a COVID vaccine centre for six months at the beginning of the year, and throughout 2021 have embraced the business community including participating in the West Suffolk Business Festival and holding Back to Business exhibitions and hosting the first on-the-road ‘Tech & Beer’ tech networking event.
“The strategy has paid off and now we have 20 companies occupying The EpiCentre drawn from all areas of business. Our laboratory space has been particularly popular with a significant number of companies using the wet lab facilities. A notable business start-up has been CodiKoat that produces anti-viral coatings for numerous surfaces and has attracted the interest of Government in its fight against the spread of COVID,” says Kelly.
The number of companies looking at The EpiCentre as a possible home is growing by the week and includes both life sciences businesses and more mainstream enterprises. The latest companies to sign up are a major US business Analog Devices Ltd and start-up office supplies business Pegasus Office Solutions. Alan Thorpe of Pegasus praises the welcome he received: “It was definitely the most forward thinking and most modern of the properties I saw with a good environment being light and bright.” While Christophe Antoine of Analog says: “We, in the Digital Healthcare division of Analog Devices, are excited to foray deeper into the research and development of new biosensor products at the Epicentre in Haverhill and look forward to growth of this activity over the coming year.”
The EpiCentre’s appeal lies in the fact that there are no huge financial commitments. Rolling monthly contracts means companies are not tied in for years and can adjust space requirements to their immediate business needs. There are office rooms of all sizes, together with hot desks and co-working spaces that are all COVID-safe. And where The EpiCentre scores over traditional workplaces is that it gives support to those enterprises that need guidance in scaling up their businesses.
And The EpiCentre offer became even more attractive at the beginning of September when the centre’s own café Cool Beans opened for business providing artisan coffee and light snacks to the EpiCentre’s businesses as well as the wider Haverhill community.