Co-Lab, an exciting new workspace aimed at digital, tech and creative businesses, has opened in the heart of Harrogate following investment from the council.
Based on Level 3 of Harrogate Convention Centre on Kings Road, Co-Lab consists of bright new offices, a meeting room and communal space and, importantly, will provide a collaborative environment where businesses can gain access to information about funding and investment, supply chain, help with talent recruitment and other advice to enable them to thrive, and grow.
The digital, tech and creative sectors are already strong in Harrogate district, with employment growing by 80% in the last 5 years. Of the 7,500 people employed in these industries in North Yorkshire, 57% of them work in Harrogate district. By identifying the main challenges to growth for these businesses; accessing finance, recruiting skilled talent, developing entrepreneurship; the concept of Co-Lab was born.
Co-Lab aims to help develop the eco-system for digital, tech and creative businesses in Harrogate district, helping them connect and collaborate, and access expertise and experience to accelerate growth.
Alistair Forbes, Harrogate Borough Council’s in-house growth manager who will support businesses at Co-Lab told us “Co-Lab will be focussed on digital and tech businesses, but we are inviting anyone interested in collaborating with the business community to talk to us. From designers to hardware specialists, technologists, marketers and developers, our aim is that everyone works together to help our community become more successful.”
Co-Lab has been created by the borough council, as a key element in its economic growth strategy, with the aim of helping the district economy to grow.
Funding of £540k for the project was acquired via a successful bid through the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, with the aim of creating an attractive office space environment to enhance the digital and tech ecosystem in our area.
Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, said: “Co-Lab is a fantastic co-working space that has been specially created to meet the demand of digital and tech businesses who either need flexible office space, support and advice from peers or, of course, both.
“I’m delighted that following this investment by Harrogate Borough Council and a successful bid through the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, we’ve been able to provide this in the heart of Harrogate town centre.
“This is just the start of the journey for Co-Lab, and in the coming months will open doors and opportunities for young and enthusiastic digital and tech businesses, allow them to expand and succeed and enhance the digital and tech sector in our region.”
A launch event attracted interested parties from the digital / tech and creative industries from across the Harrogate district and further afield; as well as organisations interested in being part of the wider eco-system of support.
Anyone interested in finding out more can email firstname.lastname@example.org