Norwich tech-hub Whitespace relaunches thanks to £50,000 LEP grant

PUBLISHED: 09:28 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:28 18 February 2016

Whitespace founder Neil Garner.

Whitespace founder Neil Garner. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Co-working hub Whitespace is relaunching its offices in a bid to become a dedicated event space for the city’s tech and digital community.

Whitespace founder Neil Garner.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWhitespace founder Neil Garner. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A pool table, flexible working space and more than 40 seats have been added to the 70 desks thanks to £50,000 of finding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Whitespace, in St James Mill, near the city’s law courts, was founded by entrepreneur Neil Garner, who said the redevelopment was aimed to encourage collaboration between members, with new hot desks and break-out areas.

Mr Garner said: “I’ve always believed Norwich has the potential to become a great hub for tech and innovation. Whitespace was created to become a home for growing tech and digital professionals, encouraging them to share knowledge, innovate and to collaborate in helping to establish Norwich as an innovation hotspot outside London.

“With a steady pool of talent from local institutions like UEA and NUA, we want to ensure these bright young professionals can find opportunities within Norwich, rather than relocating further afield.”

Whitespace, which has desks leased on a monthly basis, was founded two years ago and was home to artificial intelligence firm Rainbird before the business expanded into its own offices.

Event and meet-up group SyncNorwich is also based in the space.

Chris Starkie, managing director of the New Anglia LEP, said: “Norwich is fast becoming the go-to destination for ambitious digital entrepreneurs to test and prototype their latest innovations.

“Whitespace exemplifies this ambition, giving bright minds the space to create and collaborate.

“Recently recognised as a ‘developing cluster’ in the Tech Nation report, our creative digital businesses are at the heart of our economy and fundamental to improving our productivity and competitiveness, so it was a project that made perfect sense to support.”

The LEP funding has been used to carry out renovations and upgrade facilities with interior-design firm Burton Green and the official relaunch is tonight.

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