The University of Hertfordshire’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Campbell has broken ground where a new Business Hub will tangibly link education, entrepreneurship, apprenticeships and social facilities.
The project, which has been part-funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will provide learning, social and business facilities at the heart of the University’s de Havilland campus in Hatfield.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Campbell said: “Our new building will significantly enhance and extend the support the University provides its degree apprenticeship employers and learners, enterprising graduates and local entrepreneurs and is part of our commitment to ensure our students are given the best possible learning and social experiences through state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, teaching and social spaces.
“By creating social spaces where our entrepreneurial students can mix with business professionals we are helping them to create networks which will help their businesses to success and give professionals a chance to tap into new entrepreneurial talent.”
Due to be completed in 2020 by Willmott Dixon, the three storey Business Hub will significantly enhance and extend the support the University provides its degree apprenticeship employers and learners, enterprising graduates and local entrepreneurs. It will include:
- A ground floor social space, with formal and informal areas to encourage collaboration and communication between students, staff and the business community.
- An area dedicated to business incubation on the first floor, which will support start-ups and graduate entrepreneurs. This forms part of an incubation project that provides local entrepreneurs access to all of the University's facilities, rooms and resources, as well as mentorship.
- A new learning space for students, including Degree Apprentices and MBA students.
Hertfordshire LEP has invested £2.5m from the Local Growth Fund towards the construction of the building as part of its strategic priority to support business growth and innovation within the county.
Adrian Hawkins, Deputy Chair of Hertfordshire LEP said: “Small enterprises form the backbone of Hertfordshire’s business community. Our £2.5m funding towards the construction of a new Business Hub is an investment in their future growth and prosperity, giving start-ups access to a world-class University with a reputation for championing entrepreneurship.”
The Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.
“Degree apprenticeships play an important role in helping people to reach their full potential, whatever their background, so I am delighted this £2.5 million investment from the Local Growth Fund will help provide new teaching, social and business facilities at the University of Hertfordshire. This will make a vital contribution to Hertfordshire’s economy, strengthening links between the University, students, and the local business community.”