£10m Sunderland innovation centre open to North East startups

Hope Street Xchange, Sunderland University’s new centre for enterprise and innovation, is now officially open.

The £10m hub, funded by the University and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, will support budding startups in the region and offers space for existing businesses to develop and grow.

Members of Sunderland Business Group, which was behind the initial proposal to create a one-stop shop for regional entrepreneurship, met at the Xchange recently to see the finished building.

Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, commented: “The Business Group’s vision was to create a hub where businesses can interact with the University to support their innovation and growth.

“The approach proposed by Business Group partners resonates with our University’s vision, as outlined in our Strategic Plan ‘We are the Tomorrow Makers’.

“This plan, which we launched last autumn, sets out a bold ambition for Sunderland graduates to become the future leaders of societies and economies.“

Hans Moller, Innovation Director at the North East LEP, added: “The finished building provides a nurturing environment to support innovative entrepreneurialism and welcomes businesses large and small to engage with the University.

“We’re excited to see the great things that will no doubt emerge from such an enterprising initiative.“