The Managing Director of Warrington’s private sector-led economic development agency says that Warrington’s economic growth ‘stands or falls on collaboration between local firms.’
Steve Park of Warrington & Co, the partnership between the council and private businesses, says he sees each day how collaboration between tenants at the council’s hi-technology office building The Base on Dallam Lane, is leading to new products, jobs and investment.
The 50,000 sq ft grade A office is now home to more than 220 staff at 21 firms, many ‘routinely collaborating’ to secure larger contracts or to develop new products, says Mr Park.
“We’re all collaborators now. You either tap in to complementary skills and expertise or you go backwards. And the same holds for cities as it does for companies,” says Mr Park, who points to the dedicated collaboration space and a carefully-conceived programme of networking events at The Base as key to igniting tenants’ collaborative ethos.
“It’s developed a life of its own, with people meeting in our collaboration space and exploring how they can work together. It’s its own eco-system now and occupiers like Avanite are starting to grab the headlines.”
Avanite was the first beneficiary of a new business angel investment network established by Warrington-based corporate financiers DSW. The half million pound working capital injection it secured will be used to develop the sales potential of the company’s unique technology called Web Data Control. The service removes unwanted cookies from machines and corporate networks, speeding network performance and efficiency.
Avanite’s neighbour, Resulting-IT, is launching its new SAP Success Optimiser and along the corridor Iris Networks are collaborating with a leading north west university and a major private sector partner on a yet-to-be-revealed technology project which the company describes as a ‘game changer’.
The point, says Park, is that with some critical intervention from the public sector Warrington has added a new string to the town’s thriving technology economy – and one which is starting to feed off itself.
“When I look at what is going on at The Base I see how Warrington’s economy can branch out and develop further,” he adds. “The appetite for innovation, for risk and for sheer hard work never ceases to amaze me and a whole new layer of significant employers is being created that will future-proof our economy over the next decade or so.”