AN INNOVATIVE centre which is helping fledgling firms get their businesses off the ground is to be officially launched later this month.
The Cathedral Innovation Centre (CIC) was created last year by using spare office space to provide an environment for new firms to flourish.
It was created last year as a partnership between Portsmouth Cathedral, the University of Portsmouth’s Business School, the Roman Catholic diocese and the Royal Society of Arts.
It aimed to recruit 50 mentors from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to give advice on all sorts of aspects of business in order to give new companies the best start possible.
And now the idea is expanding to other churches with spare rooms in the area.
Among the fledgling firms to have found a home at the CIC in Cathedral House is Distinction Games, which creates software and computer games. It was originally created by friends studying at the University of Portsmouth.
Director Orcun Adsoy said: ‘I came to look round and was given two business contacts before I’d even signed up to be part of the centre. The group running the CIC is incredibly well-connected, the rent was incredibly low, and the location beautiful – we can see across the Solent from our window.
‘The area is good and the people are nice, which is very motivating. And it’s great to be able to call on business mentors as well. The CIC is helping to cover our costs to become a limited company.’
Baroness Berridge, who announced the creation of the centre last May in the House of Lords, will officially open the centre on April 30.
Local politicians, dignitaries, church worshippers, business people and community leaders will be invited to the event. The CIC is now asking for applicants looking for free office facilities and mentoring, based in spare church and community buildings in Southampton and elsewhere in the Solent and Wessex regions after being awarded an extra £250,000 to help more start-ups.
To find out more, call Francis Davis on 07799 711083.