VitalSix, specialists in supporting ambitious businesses that are scaling up, has embarked on a major new partnership to drive innovation in the Thames Valley, a project supported by Barclays Eagle Labs, Thames Valley Science Park and Henley Business School.
Active, the Reading-based workplace specialist, was awarded the contract to design, fit-out and source the furniture for a 60-seat business incubation centre and co-working space at Thames Valley Science Park’s (TVSP) new Shinfield campus. The space will form an integral part of the Innovation Catalyst partnership providing a comprehensive offering to business innovators across the region.
The 3,700 sq ft shared space aims to encourage collaboration and foster innovation among Reading and the Thames Valley’s entrepreneurial business community. The partnership will take advantage of its location in one of Europe’s largest tech cluster and knowledge bases drawn from more than 8,000 technology-led companies in the region, and in doing so, provide Thames Valley start-up and scale-up communities a crucial boost.
Active director and co founder Adrian Powell has had a relationship with VitalSix for four years and the senior leadership team took part in an accelerator programme delivered by VitalSix back in 2015, where they were able to see first hand the impact of the offering. VitalSix went out to tender for this latest project work and came to the conclusion Active could meet their needs with their flexible approach and understanding of the partnership’s aims. For VitalSix, the project wasn’t solely about sourcing furniture for the 60 new workstations. They wanted to use a local company, who could come up with sustainable solutions within the budget to plan and design the space, and source recycled and upscaled furniture to keep costs down.
Powell said: “It’s been a pleasure to support VitalSix with creating this space. We’ve seen first hand what the accelerator programme can offer and it’s fantastic to see such an important project taking off that will really help local businesses to thrive.”
Susan Elliott from VitalSix said: “It’s taken time and extensive planning to create a practical space that fits what we’re trying to do, looks great and aligns with the ethos of the wider Innovation Catalyst partnership. Active has managed all of this and used their innovative approach to bring ideas to us that have helped with cost and sustainability. Active are able to deliver the whole package and have listened to what we were after making it a truly straightforward process.”
The Innovation Catalyst partnership formally launches on March 8.