The centre offers a wide range of incubator units, executive offices, bio-science labs and large industrial facilities across the 14 acre site in Sunderland, but it’s the access to a wide range of tailored business support that truly sets it apart.
A desirable place to do business
The appeal of the BIC’s unique proposition speaks for itself. Over 220 SMEs ranging from healthcare, technology, software, creative and outsourcing firms currently call one of the three sites: Sunderland, Business Central Darlington and
the Hub Washington, their home.
Paul McEldon, chief executive of the North East BIC, says: “The BIC is the perfect environment for businesses of all stages of development. The breadth of space on offer means that businesses don’t start off here then move on once they’ve outgrown their premises, they become part of a unique eco-system which offers the flexibility to relocate on site and to tap into relevant support and expertise at each stage of their growth. As a not-for-profit organisation we’re committed to reinvesting in support and facilities to best meet the needs of the business community.”
Louise Hardy occupies a unique role as resident business adviser at the BIC and is on-hand to ensure both start-up and established businesses get access to all of the help they need to fulfil their potential. She explains: “Tenants from businesses of all sizes and sectors come to me for help with a range of issues; whether it’s raising finance, tendering, international trade, sales or marketing. Where possible we’ll provide the support ourselves within the BIC’s team of expert advisers and where there’s a gap we’ll provide introductions to other tenants on site, who could help them through collaborative projects, retaining the work on site. If the support isn’t available on site we’ll signpost to our external support network. We’ll always find the best possible solution for the business to help them flourish and grow.”
An international outlook
The BIC also delivers transnational projects, the latest being the ERDF funded Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme which provides opportunities for businesses to broaden their horizons by collaborating with overseas partners.
The BIC’s international links don’t end there, it is one of 150 quality certified members of the European Business Network (EBN) that supports the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.
So, with 22 years of business support experience under their belt, what next for the BIC?
“We’re always looking for ways to improve our offer. We’ll keep working hard to ensure that businesses based here or coming to us for support continue to get the very best experience; the fact that 75% of businesses who start up here are still trading after three years speaks for itself. The BIC is very much a community and by working with new and established businesses alike, we are able to offer advice to businesses at any stage and I believe this is fundamental to our success,” says Paul McEldon.
The North East BIC has had a significant impact on the North East business landscape since its launch in 1994.
(NB: Figures relate to the Sunderland site)
For further information about space or support on offer at the North East Business & Innovation Centre visit www.ne-bic.co.uk, email: email@example.com or call 0191 516 6200