Deputy Mayor Councillor Jenny Gawthrope Wood was joined by other representatives from Cambridge City Council to officially open Allia’s new Future Business Centre in Cambridge. Together with representatives from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and a team from COEL, who worked with Allia to fit out the building – the official party was shown around the newly refurbished workspace by the Allia team and some of the new tenants that have recently moved into the centre.
New tenants are Cambridge Carbon Capture, which took the large workshop on the ground floor, as well as Informetis, Kalium Health, Biozeroc, Dyslexia Box and Cambridge Vineyard Church (GrowKids).
Existing tenant Informetis (smart sensor solutions for energy monitoring and efficiency) worked with Allia to set up an energy monitoring system that provides a monthly visualisation of energy consumption for each tenant office, as well as an overall summary of consumption for the building. Additionally, main centre tenant Audinate (leading provider of professional AV networking technologies) worked with Allia to advise on AV for the conferencing suite in the new building. This resulted in a state-of-the-art system being installed, based on Audinate’s Dante networked AV which incorporates dual ceiling microphones to capture audio however the room is configured.
Earlier this year, Allia bought the SmartLIFE Low Carbon Centre on King’s Hedges Road from Cambridge Regional College, to significantly expand its current Future Business Centre offering in the north of the city. The new building adds an extra 13,347 ft2 of space which provides offices, lab space, co-working and a large conference suite on the top floor.
The new building is on the same site as Allia’s main centre in Cambridge, which was purpose built in 2013 to help growing start-ups and small businesses through flexible workspace and free business support. As part of the acquisition, Allia also now has expanded car parking for its impact community and their visitors.
David Broach, Director of Future Business Centres says:
“We are delighted to be able to finally open the new building as part of our new Future Business Campus here in Cambridge. It will provide valuable move-on space for our existing tenants as well as providing offices for new tenants to join our community. The addition of lab, R&D and hybrid conferencing facilities further enhances our offering to meet the needs of the tech for good community in the city, supporting them in growing their businesses and maximising the impacts that they make.”
Martin Clark, CEO of Allia Impact added:
“Ever since the first Future Business Centre reached full occupancy, we have dreamed of having more space so we can help more ventures and achieve more impact through supporting them to make a difference in the world. It’s great to be doing this ahead of next year’s 10th anniversary of the Cambridge centre and making the Campus a reality.”
The purchase of the building and car park was enabled in part by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which Allia was awarded in 2020 for a 3-year project. As well as providing support to hundreds of local businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough through free support programmes and mentoring, the funding was specifically for the organisation to extend the Future Business Centre Cambridge to increase the availability of much-needed space to assist impact businesses to scale up.
The balance of the required funding for the building was from an Allia Charitable Bond purchased by Cambridge City Council.