A flexible workspace in Stockport has officially opened its doors.

Merseyway Innovation Centre will provide strategic coaching and growth innovation support to occupiers, alongside a calendar of networking events and workshops for the centre’s community.

The facility will be led by innovation director Naomi Timperley and centre manager Rob Kates and will offer flexible accommodation from co-working space, to shared offices and individual units from 100 sq ft up to 570 sq ft plus a 1,000 sq ft business lounge.

To mark the official launch, the centre opened its doors to representatives of the business community.

Steve Oliver, CEO of musicMagpie and chair of Stockport Economic Alliance, said: “Merseyway Innovation Centre has been a big-ticket item in the Stockport Economic Plans, and to see it completed is brilliant – this is an incredible environment.

“One of our key priorities is making space available for offices where new and growing businesses can thrive. As such, the centre will be vital to the vibrant and diverse economy we have across the borough.

“With flexible terms and wrap-around support, the Merseyway Innovation Centre will provide its community with the mechanisms and tools for a more secure future.

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“Any business using this space has the potential to become a national organisation grown out of Stockport. We firmly believe huge oaks will grow from the acorns that are planted here.”

One of the first companies to move into the innovation centre was New Possible, which uses artificial intelligence and people insights to help business leaders to boost engagement and productivity from their employees.

Coun Mark Hunter, leader of Stockport Council, said: “Merseyway Innovation Centre is the latest example of the ambition we have to invest in our borough, and to bring best in class facilities to our businesses and residents.”

Jo Stevens, managing director of Oxford Innovation Space – which manages Merseyway Innovation Centre on behalf of Stockport Council – said: “There is huge interest in spaces like this up and down the country.

“Innovation spaces are about more than the walls and the square footage that businesses occupy. It’s about the community you build in the space, the businesses that learn from one another, the support we provide and the other experts that we bring in. These things make a difference.”

Merseyway Innovation Centre has been made possible through funding from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (via Northern Powerhouse), Stockport Council and from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Cultural Development Fund managed by Arts Council England.

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Oxford Innovation Space is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, with 31 managed centres in the UK.