Meet the supplier: Lincoln Science and Innovation Park
Director of Lincoln’s £20m innovation hub, Thomas Blount explains how start-ups can benefit from its enterprising eco-system and on-site office space…
Name: Thomas Blount
Company: Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP)
Address: Boole Technology Centre, Beevor Street, Lincoln, LN6 7DJ
Key services: Property and innovation
Founded in: 2012
Who are you?
Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP) is the premium site for science, technology and innovation led firms in the Greater Lincolnshire area.
It provides highly specified and highly customisable offices and laboratories, whether it be a small starter unit or a prestigious HQ building, at the heart of a community of innovators, academics and like-minded business.
Tell us about LSIP. What makes it different from the rest?
Businesses locating on Lincoln Science and Innovation Park join a community that includes some of the most exciting firms in Lincolnshire as well as the University of Lincoln, who house their main research laboratories on the site.
Tenants have access to some of the most highly specified space in the Greater Lincolnshire that can be configured to office, laboratory or workshop with ease. Additionally, firms from across the world can access the skills, equipment and talents available on the site.
Who are the key members of your team?
Blount: I’m Science Park director and have worked with technology and high growth firms for more than 15-years.
My principal expertise are risk-capital financing and strategic planning and I have a passion for helping businesses to unlock their potential.
What size of business do you work with best?
LSIP works with firms ranging from start-up to large, established multi-nationals. Ensuring a mix of small and large means that LSIP doesn’t just work with individual firms, it has access to supply chains that can benefit all of its customers.
What service do businesses use you for most?
How much of what you do could businesses do for themselves?
The cost of establishing a high quality innovation environment is extremely high. Whether it’s enterprise grade broadband and digital security or Category II laboratories, this is out of the reach of most small firms.
The Science Park provides this ecosystem to firms at a fraction of the capital cost all the while providing access to a world-wide network of people, knowledge, skills and equipment.
Give us three common problems/scenarios that your firm solves – and what you do:
- The cost of establishing a laboratory is extremely high – either it needs to be built from scratch or an unsuitable building is retro-fitted requiring compromises. LSIP has space that can be re-configured to laboratory (Category I or II) with ease at a relatively low cost point.
- Digital businesses that require enterprise level broadband and security find it extremely expensive to implement this on their own. As LSIP shares the cost of this across the whole park and utilises a specialist Science Park ISP, it comes within reach of even the smallest firm.
- Businesses often find a technology or market problem that falls beyond their capability to solve. With both the University of Lincoln on site and a national network of technology firms available through the UK Science Park Association network, LSIP can almost always be a solution provider.
Are you expensive? Tell us more about your pricing structure:
LSIP provides a premium ‘property plus’ service. All of our multi-occupancy buildings have reception services, 24-hour security and are maintained to a very high standard. Naturally, this comes at a cost but one that we have managed to be within the reach of even small firms.
How long have you been based in Lincoln?
LSIP was established in 2012 by joint shareholders; the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op.
Since then, we have constructed more than 10,000m2 new science and technology space and invested more than £20m.
What business resources in Lincoln would you recommend?
The three essential phone calls businesses in Lincoln can make are to the University of Lincoln Enterprise Department, the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub.
What are the top reasons for a start-up business to set-up in Lincoln?
- Work and play – Lincoln is a hidden gem; the city is packed with Roman and Medieval history, one of the UK’s most beautiful cathedrals and a vibrant shopping district and nightlife. This makes it a great place to live and provides that important balance to work.
- Community – The strong sense of community in the county spills over into the business world. Finding the right person in a potential customer or supplier is far easier than in other parts of the UK and more often than not, people are happy to help.
- Skills – Historically, thanks to its great education system, Lincolnshire has been an exporter of talent. Thanks to the University of Lincoln and the number of firms now seeking highly-skilled staff in the county, there are now a multitude of ways to find some of the best recruits for your business.
- Transport – Lincolnshire is well placed to access large parts of the UK. The A1 passes through the county, London is just over an hour from the Grantham and Newark stations, the Humber ports provide unparalleled access by sea and East Midlands and Humber airports are both easily reached.
- Finances – despite being close to London on the East Coast mainline, Lincolnshire remains unspoiled and undiscovered. This means that beautiful stone houses on the Fosse Way and Ermine Street can be bought for just over 60% of the English average and, consequently, these opportunities to keep costs controlled spill over into running a business. Wages, commercial property, business rates and professional services are all very attractively priced.
Inspired to start a business in Lincoln? Read our full start-up guide to Lincoln here.