Lancaster University

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Environmental Companies Flourish At LEC

08/29/2008 13:56:22

Jonathan Lutwyche of The REACH Centre Ltd at LEC
Jonathan Lutwyche of The REACH Centre Ltd at LEC

The business arm of the Lancaster Environment Centre has created and protected over 50 jobs since it was opened a year ago.

The business incubation facility at LEC is now home to 23 environmental companies from all over the region who have moved there to benefit from the expertise and support on offer.

One of them is the REACH Centre Ltd, a new consultancy firm established in partnership with the University to exploit the opportunities brought by new European legislation and which continues to add an impressive list of clients to their order book.

Jonathan Lutwyche of The REACH Centre Ltd said: “The REACH Centre would not have been formed without the strategic support provided by LEC and would not be sustainable without the resources made available through locating here. There are tremendous benefits from locating in LEC over other business parks both in terms of the quality of resources the building has to offer but more importantly, in terms of the quality of people which we are able to work with, enabling us to utilise the specialist knowledge that the university can provide."

Each company is assigned a relationship manager who is their point of access to collaborative research within LEC as well as assisting in writing bids for research projects. Once located in the building there is an opportunity to use graduates from the University to conduct short research projects for the companies as well as becoming ERDF Objective-two eligible which allows for greater access to support offered by a variety of organisations in the region.

The companies have moved into LEC from surrounding areas such as Kendal, Preston, Liverpool and Manchester and by locating on site are able to utilise the expertise, support and research made available to them as part of the knowledge transfer programme.

Two new ventures are BEECycle Ltd. and Crowberry Consulting, which have already won a business creation competition held at the University, while larger companies such as Plant Impact plc and Stopford Projects Ltd are now embarking on ambitious programmes of collaborative research with the University.

The first company to take up residency - ADK Environmental Management Ltd. – and the Mouchel Group plc have in the last 12 months forged strong links with a wide range of staff across the Environment Centre. Ethos Solutions Ltd. - the brain child of two former BAE employees looks set for success from the development of their new IT system for chemical safety management and Small World Consulting continues to capitalise on the knowledge within LEC to meet the demand for carbon footprinting and change management in organisations large and small.

With only 6 offices left unoccupied, LEC expects to reach its target level of occupancy early in next year.