by Emma Kirwan
As many as 3,000 new jobs could be created in Leeds thanks to a £3.7 million government investment which was announced in the budget last week.
The money has come from an initiative which is supported by the government and is called ‘Tech Nation’- a project to help promote the UK’s technology industry and support entrepreneurs.
Last week George Osborne announced that they will be investing £11 million into ‘entrepreneur hubs’ including the £3.7 million which Leeds is set to receive in order to develop a new digital enterprise; Future Labs.
Co-founder of the project, Steve Wainright said “Future Labs will mean that people from different backgrounds can come together under one roof and collaborate.
“What we needed was government funding and support to catalyse Leeds, which we have achieved.”
Future Labs will be located in the city centre at Brotherton House which used to be an old police headquarters.
Mr Wainwright and co-founder Emma Cheshire are hoping for the building to be a focal point in Leeds.
Mrs Cheshire, 42, said; “Future Labs will be a way for people to meet up, engage in activity and make way for greater engagement. It is not us owning activity, but allowing people to express themselves and be creative.”
The pair hopes that the six floor building renovations will take no longer than 12 months.
Mrs Cheshire said “On the ground floor there will be a café and open plan co-work areas. As you go further up the building there will be dedicated working spaces which will cost more to rent, but will cover the rent of the ground-floor enabling the ground floor to stay accessible.”
Mr Wainwright said “It has been a long three year journey to get to this point, but I’ve known Emma for five years and I’m really excited for Future Labs to be open to the public.”