A brand new business incubation centre supporting start-up enterprises has been completed at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln.

Staff at the college will receive the keys to the new BG Futures building tomorrow (Thursday 1st December) – and eight of the 15 office units have already been let to micro-businesses who will move in after Christmas.

BG Futures will differ from other incubation centres by emphasising the college’s values of equality and diversity, said Mark Bowen, Enterprise Development Manager at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln.

“A building is just a building – it’s what goes on inside that matters,” he said. “We want to develop our ethos by valuing individuals no matter where they come from and give everyone an equal chance in life.

“We want BG Futures to be a real community, not 15 individual businesses going their own way. There will be a whole range of businesses at different stages of development and we hope that those who are further on will support those who are just starting out.”

Mr Bowen said BG Futures would welcome people from disadvantaged backgrounds of all kinds who want to start their own business.

“They could be people from minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities or people who want to set up social enterprises,” he explained. “BG Futures aims to break some of those chains that bind and show people that they can be successful in business no matter what their background.

“By creating an atmosphere of support and understanding we want to encourage people to take a risk, knowing that they are not alone in their venture. We want to work with them to improve their self-confidence and self-belief, to enhance their communication skills and feelings of self-worth and provide them with the tools and skills for business.”

The new business centre has cost £1.8 million and will provide ‘virtual office’ facilities as well as 15 business incubator units ranging from 8 sqm to 25 sqm, meeting rooms, conference facilities and technical and academic support.

The development of BG Futures follows the successful Sky Centre pilot scheme in 2007 which converted an existing building on campus into business incubation space.

The keys to BG Futures will be handed over by Ken Taylor of Taylor Pearson Construction to Professor Muriel Robinson, Principal of Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, at 11.30am on Thursday 1st December 2011. Reporters, photographers and TV crews are welcome to attend the photo opportunity on campus at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, Newport, Lincoln.

Notes to editors

  • BG Futures is Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln’s brand new business and enterprise hub.
  • Originally opened in 2007 as The Sky Centre, BG Futures is the result of a £1.8 million extension and renovation project funded by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), Lincolnshire Enterprise, Lincolnshire County Council and Bishop Grosseteste University College.
  • BG Futures hub will officially open in January 2012 and will provide 15 quality, affordable, business start-up units, state-of-the-art conference facilities and exhibition space as well as business support.
  • Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln was established in 1862 and celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012.
  • It is an independent higher education institution based in Lincoln and awarding its own degrees at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level.