John Durance, chairman of the steering
group, said: "The involvement of the university at this senior
level is another demonstration of the importance of this project for
Initial plans for the development of
an innovation centre to encourage the growth of knowledge-based
companies in Peterborough were revealed last year. It will provide
young high-tech firms with premises and a range of support services,
helping them to grow and provide more high-quality jobs.
The steering group behind the project
is in detailed negotiations about finance to build and run the centre
and the purchase of a site. Although the centre could be financially
self-sustaining within four years - and will be built primarily with
private sector funding - some public sector money is essential to make
it viable. The steering group is currently waiting to hear the outcome
of an application for funding from the East of England Development
It is planned that the building should
be between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet (2,800 and 3,700 square
metres), offering small, growing companies units ranging in size from
250 square feet to 1,700 square feet (23 to 160 square metres).
Tenants will have shared access to meeting rooms, a restaurant,
reception and post and photocopying facilities.
Last month (May 2002) a contract to
undertake a detailed study into the scale of demand for space at the
innovation centre was awarded to St John's Innovation Centre in