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Blackburn Innovation Centre has signed-up to a new service offering free office space to overseas businesses investing in the North West.

The scheme, called Hello Northwest, is a Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) initiative which offers companies free, flexible and serviced office space for the first 12 months of their move to the region. It is designed to encourage inward investment from overseas businesses in the North West.

This scheme is the latest in a line of initiatives Blackburn Innovation Centre has embraced to encourage businesses to move into the area, including the promotion of virtual offices which help start-up and existing businesses establish a presence by offering a professional business address and telephone answering service without going to the expense of a full time office.

Based in Evolution Park, Blackburn Innovation Centre is a 40,000 sq ft building developed by St. Modwen. The building provides tailored office space for businesses in the medical, science and knowledge sectors.

The Innovation Centre is now 95 per cent let with approximately 1000 sq ft remaining. To address the continuing demand St. Modwen has now completed fit-out work on the adjacent Fusion House which will provide a further 7,000 sq ft of flexible state-of-the art office space acting as an extension of the Innovation Centre.

Businesses will benefit from increased flexibility of space as well as the comprehensive business support services currently provided at the site including professional reception facilities, secretarial support and a wide range of state-of-the-art fully serviced meeting and conference suites.

Innovation Centre manager Dawn Rogers said: “We are delighted to be involved in this scheme to encourage inward investment into Blackburn.

“The recent expansion of the scheme is testament to the increasing interest in Blackburn and the wider North West region from overseas businesses hoping to expand to or move into the UK market.”