Berkeley Group and Oxford Innovation

12th February 2013

Five companies attracted to move into the Centre as it opens for business

The Berkeley Group and Prudential, through St Edward their joint venture company, has launched a new, purpose built business and innovation centre to provide high quality offices and business support for up to 55 small and growing companies at Stanmore Place, Harrow.

The Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre is located in the heart of St Edward's Stanmore Place development of 757 residential apartments at Honeypot Lane near Stanmore Village.

The multi-million pound centre is set in an award-winning landscape featuring a lake, cycle paths and children's play area. Occupiers also benefit from fast transport links to central London from nearby Canons Park Jubilee Line underground station.

St Edward has appointed Oxford Innovation, the UK's leading operator of business and innovation centres, to manage the prestigious new centre which has opened its doors for business with five local companies already taking space. Local business support agency, Harrow in Business, has also moved its offices to the building. St Edward, Oxford Innovation, Harrow Council and Harrow in Business have worked together to launch the project.

Oxford Innovation has an impressive track record in supporting growing businesses and manages a network of 20 other centres across the country used by over 700 growing companies.

Companies joining the Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre will benefit from state-of-the art offices on flexible terms and tailored business support provided by Oxford Innovation including business planning advice from on-site staff, access to funding through investment networks and networking events.

The opening marks the successful completion of the first phase of the business and innovation centre which is being built in three phases totalling 52,000 sq ft.

The centre is arranged over four floors, split between offices, meeting rooms and conference facilities. Flexibility has been a key consideration in the design. In the first building, 55 offices are available in sizes from 100 to 430 sq ft, providing for one to 15 people. The letting agreements are flexible and based on all inclusive pricing. Shared office space and virtual office services are available for entrepreneurs who are not yet ready to take on their own dedicated offices. The centre's high specification meeting rooms can be booked by local organisations as well as occupiers.

The five companies taking accommodation are:

  • Progenesis Ltd - a company providing consultancy services to large corporates on the optimisation of their credit card arrangements to generate significant savings, benchmark expenditure against their sector and reduce fraud risk. Founder and managing director, Max Chatterjee, has over 20 years' experience in the commercial card sector with multinational companies including Hertz, Visa, Citi and MasterCard.
  • Quivira Capital Ltd - a niche investment management company assisting busy professional people to manage their assets. Founding partner, Rajiv Nathwani, spotted a gap in the market and left a bank in the City to start his own business.
  • The International Political Forum (IPF) - a social enterprise founded last April by Natasha Lipman, 24, to provide an online platform for young people to engage in political and human rights issues. The IPF has 150 writers from 30 countries all under the age of 30 who share their news stories and as a result of her work, Ms Lipman won a business networking trip to India with the Virgin Media Pioneers and Richard Branson. The IPF is a member of the Guardian Africa Network and has launched an IPF Green project working with leading youth climate activists in Africa to communicate news on climate degradation and provide training for community projects. The IPF will also be working on education programmes in the UK and USA.
  • Evans Associates (UK) Ltd - a local accountancy firm whose services include bookkeeping, payroll and annual accounts.
  • International Students Link Ltd - a business which provides support services to overseas students attending UK educational establishments. John Boydell, commercial development manager at St Edward, said: "The opening of the Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre reflects Berkeley's and Prudential's commitment to support the growth of local businesses as the key to the sustainable growth of our local economy. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Oxford Innovation on this project, and organisations based here will benefit from flexible letting arrangements and a supportive environment with access to the funding and business advice they need to help them to succeed and grow."

Chris Allington, managing director of Oxford Innovation's business and innovation centres division, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed to manage the prestigious Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre and have the opportunity to provide first class support to local businesses. Working in partnership with St Edward and key stakeholder organisations including Harrow Council and Harrow in Business we have made a good start towards our objective of creating a thriving centre for small and growing businesses that is a focal point for enterprise in Harrow and a significant generator of local employment."

Centre director, Tom Cocklin, said: "It is great to welcome our first clients into Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre and to start supporting the growth of these ambitious companies.

"I am very pleased with the strong take up of office space and the continuing interest. We are currently in discussion with other prospective occupiers and I welcome enquiries from companies interested in finding out more about the range of offices and support that we offer."

Harrow Council portfolio holder for regeneration and planning, Cllr Keith Ferry, said: "The Council is excited by the launch of this dynamic and innovative project and I am delighted that start-up companies will get the crucial support needed during the early stages of setting up their businesses so they can grow and become a success.

"Attracting new businesses and encouraging investment into the borough is at the heart of everything that we do. This is a real opportunity to support and develop talented individuals and create successful businesses of the future."

Chairman of Harrow In Business, Ash Verma, added: "We welcome the development of this new centre in Harrow to assist start up and growing businesses, and will do everything possible to support this exciting initiative."

Max Chatterjee, founder and managing director of Progenesis, said: "I chose to locate at the Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre due to its convenient location with fast access into central London, combined with the flexible letting terms on offer. The access to professional meeting rooms is very useful for client meetings and it is great to have business advisors on hand to provide support as I grow my business."

Natasha Lipman, founder of the International Political Forum, said: "This centre is an affordable option in a superb location - the transport links are great, so my staff can get to work with ease. There is a supportive, bustling environment that is very conducive for the young, energetic feel of the IPF. And as someone with experience primarily in international affairs, I am looking forward to taking advantage of the business mentorship on offer as we are aiming to significantly grow the online and offline presence of the IPF this year."

Rajiv Nathwani, founding partner of Quivira Capital, said: "As a two person business with ambitions to grow, we like being based alongside other like-minded businesses, and the high specification office space available here, without having to get locked in to any long term commitment, is ideal. Our client list is growing so we may soon require a larger office and it is good to know that we have the flexibility to quickly and easily expand without disruption to our business."

With the addition of Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre, Oxford Innovation manages 21 business and innovation centres in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire for clients ranging from property developers, pension funds and trusts to local authorities and research establishments.

Companies interested in finding out more about Stanmore Business and Innovation Centre or arranging a visit should contact Tom Cocklin, centre director, on Tel: 020 8731 5200, email: t.cocklin@oxin.co.uk

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