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Dame Prue Leith visits Edinburgh Innovation Hub

Posted: 9th July 2024

Last week, Dame Prue Leith, TV judge, entrepreneur and Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, took a tour of the construction site where the Edinburgh Innovation Hub is being developed on the land around the University campus.

A joint venture between East Lothian Council and Queen Margaret University (QMU) and funded by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the new Hub will be made up of flexible laboratory, office and fully equipped meeting and conference spaces for rent. The facilities and close proximity to the University aims to help attract high growth, small and medium sized enterprises, which may benefit from support from and collaboration opportunities with Queen Margaret University.

Dame Prue Leith, who was in Edinburgh for Queen Margaret University’s graduation ceremonies, was on site to see how the ambitious partnership project was developing, and to learn more about how the Innovation Hub, supported by £28.6 million from the UK Government, £1.4 million from the Scottish Government and £10 million from East Lothian Council through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, is bolstering enterprise and economic development. The Deal is supported with £300 million funding from the UK Government and £300 million funding from the Scottish Government.

Sir Paul Grice, Principal of Queen Margaret University, explained: “We are very excited to see the Edinburgh Innovation Hub starting to take shape in the ground around the University, and to give our Chancellor, Prue Leith, a glimpse into the future.

“Essentially, the 7,200 sqm Hub will bring together research, industry and academia under one roof. The focus is to support businesses that are driven by innovation, knowledge exchange and technology, so that Hub is perfect for attracting businesses which want to grow, and which will generate employment opportunities for others.”

Sir Paul continued: “Along with driving economic development locally and nationally, the Hub will act as a gateway into QMU for businesses, increase opportunities at the University for industry-relevant research and knowledge exchange, promote an entrepreneurial culture, and increase the vibrancy of the area around the campus. The Hub is not just a new building, it will be a new business.”

Dame Prue Leith said: “Seeing the site under construction gives you a real appreciation for the thought, imagination, planning, skills, and ambition which is required to create an innovation hub, drawing on the very best practice around.

“As I know from experience, it’s not easy to start and grow a business from scratch. So, I am delighted to see that the Hub will offer more than just physical facilities – it will provide the help, advice and support, and the like-minded business community that start-up and small enterprises need to flourish. I am convinced that in years to come many entrepreneurs will have the Hub to thank for their success.”

The Edinburgh Innovation Hub is supported by £28.6 million from the UK Government, £1.4 million from the Scottish Government and £10 million from East Lothian Council as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal (ESES City Region Deal).

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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