Leeds City Council has awarded Bruntwood, the largest regional property developer and operator in the UK, £2m to open a tech hub at their new Platform development.
The project is located at the city’s mainline rail station and aimed at digital start-up companies and entrepreneurs.
The hub will support more than 1000 new jobs over the lifetime of the project and will be run in partnership with the City Council and organisations across Leeds’ digital community.
Platform, due to open in Autumn this year, will provide an inspirational home for Leeds’ digital sector, fostering innovation and collaboration. It will also offer a focal point to bring the wider regional tech community together and a showcase for international investors.
One of the key personnel in the consortium bid was Laura Harper, partner at Shoosmiths.
“We are delighted to have been able to support Bruntwood with this successful bid,” she said.
“Having successfully supported similar projects we are really excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the other partner organisations and be involved in the inception and growth of this flagship Leeds Tech Hub.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the Leeds Tech Hub works to support growth in the tech and digital sector across the City and beyond.
“[It] will bring together the space, support and connectivity needed to help to companies in the Leeds’ tech community grow or reach the next level in their development.
“We are able to provide leading, specialist legal advice in key areas such as intellectual property protection and commercialisation, corporate and investment assistance, help with employment issues and commercial advice to protect cash flow and reduce risk to the businesses.
“Platform is going to be a fantastic asset to the city and the new tech hub will further add to this and Shoosmiths is incredibly excited to be a part of it.”
Shoosmiths’ creative industries and digital team has a strong reputation in the digital sector.
Their investment in, and support of similar hubs in the North is well-known, having been a part of the success story of The Sharp Project, Manchester’s creative digital media hub, as founder tenants providing specialist legal support to the business eco-system.
The team will provide similar support to the Leeds Tech Hub.
Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to be Leeds City Council’s partner to deliver this exciting and strategically important new Tech Hub to the city region.
“Our consortium has considerable experience in successfully growing tech businesses and job creation, securing inward investment, leveraging the local knowledge and talent base and attracting leading accelerator brands.
“Shoosmiths’ legal and sector expertise is a valuable contribution to the consortium’s success and as a future resident of Platform it is great to be working with them so closely on this innovative project that will transform the city’s standing on the national tech stage.”
The hub will provide 1GB connectivity. Facilities will include event, demonstration and meeting spaces to support an extensive events programme and a variety of flexible workspaces combining hot desking, co-working and studio suites.
Users will also have access to a roof garden and terrace with stunning views of the city and surrounding areas, providing a unique event space.
The other Tech Hub consortium bid partners include specialist talent support services company – Complete Resourcing.