University of Sunderland’s £10m hub for enterprise and innovation will be home to 49 established businesses and 150 new business ventures.

Hope Street Xchange is funded by the University and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership with the aim of supporting entrepreneurial growth in the region through start-up support and space for established businesses.

NOMINATE: Search is on to find UK's 150 best tech start-ups

Sunderland Business Group was behind the initial proposal to create a central hub for regional entrepreneurship and recently met at the Xchange to see the finished centre.

 “The Business Group’s vision was to create a hub where businesses can interact with the University to support their innovation and growth,” said Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland.

“The approach proposed by Business Group partners resonates with our University’s vision, as outlined in our Strategic Plan ‘We are the Tomorrow Makers’.

“This plan, which we launched last autumn, sets out a bold ambition for Sunderland graduates to become the future leaders of societies and economies.”

Hans Moller, Innovation Director at the North East LEP, added: “The finished building provides a nurturing environment to support innovative entrepreneurialism and welcomes businesses large and small to engage with the University.

“We’re excited to see the great things that will no doubt emerge from such an enterprising initiative.”

The new hub will also give entrepreneurs and businesses in the area access to mentoring, graduate talent, ‘real life’ applied research and practical business advice.