A base for top technology groups aimed at boosting innovation and job opportunities will be created in a tower block opposite the planned £30 million Oxford science centre.
Science Oxford, the public face charity The Oxford Trust, wants to open the 25,000 square foot Oxford Centre for Innovation at the Macclesfield House site in March, providing offices and business aid for up to 30 small and growing companies.
The former county council building will stand opposite the ambitious cultural centre, which is scheduled to open in 2015 and attract more than 100,000 visitors a year.
“Our plan is to give Oxford a public face for science and enterprise and to create a major tourist destination,” said Science Oxford boss Dr Ian Griffin.
“The science centre will showcase inspiring discoveries and inventions that will bring the excitement of science to young and old alike.
“Innovative, early stage companies are more crucial than ever to our economy and at Oxford Centre for Innovation, they will benefit from a supportive environment with access to the funding and advice they need to help them to grow.”
Oxford Innovation, a technology company which oversees the use of 14 other centres by more than 400 companies across the country, will manage the centre.
“Our aim is for this prestigious innovation centre to become a focal point for innovation and enterprise in the city and a generator of local employment”, said Managing Director Chris Allington, calling the development an “exciting initiative” in “the heart of Oxford’s liveliest quarter.”
“There has been strong interest in the range of offices and workspace we can offer, and several companies are scheduled to move in during March and April.”