Sunday, May 19, 2024

New tech chapter for Blenheim library

Marlborough’s new technology and innovation hub is set to be up and running in the old Blenheim library building later this year.

Marlborough District Council Economic, Finance and Community Committee Chair, David Croad said the tech hub would be located on the second floor of the old library building, on the corner of Seymour and Arthur streets.

It’s hoped the tech hub will help to foster start-ups, boost the agritech sector, increase productivity and enhance local investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Mr Croad said it was exciting an existing Council building would be utilised for the tech hub, which would add vibrancy to the town as “an incubator for start-ups”.

“Council took the former library building to the market and it didn’t sell, but with a number of enquiries from the rental market a decision has been made to put the tech hub upstairs and seek co-tenants for the downstairs area,” he said.

The tech hub had been in the planning stage for some time and Mr Croad said it was fantastic to move into the implementation stage of the economic development project.

“The region’s business ecosystem needs a place where innovative companies can meet with aspiring entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, investors and business support providers,” he said.

The tech hub received a $578,000 boost from the Government’s Kānoa fund last year which will help with fit-out costs with programme and operational costs coming from existing budgets. Fit-out will include a co-working space, a prototyping room for product development and shared meeting rooms.

Council’s Economic Development team researched similar models around New Zealand before embarking on the project. 

Council Economic Development Portfolio Manager, Dorien Vermaas said the hub aimed to help businesses create more value in Marlborough’s agritech sectors, support startups working on wellbeing and sustainability and create investment opportunities and highly paid jobs in the region.

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