The Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise (ICE) has generated approximately £53 million since its launch in 2012, a new independent report reveals.
The ICE is the largest of its kind in Wales, and according to a report published in 2015, the projected value of the centre to the Welsh economy at the time was estimated at just £36.3m.
However, the centre’s worth increased to its current £53m valuation after the Welsh Government invested heavily into the centre; figures suggest that for every £1 invested in ICE businesses brought a return of £22 to benefit the Welsh economy.
Sean Morgan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member stated:
“The findings of this report really do demonstrate the hugely significant impact that Welsh ICE continues to have upon the economy, both locally and Wales-wide.
“I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting the centre and some of the many businesses it supports on many occasions, and am always impressed by the level of innovation, support and passion that goes into encouraging entrepreneurship.
“We’re extremely proud that Welsh ICE has chosen to call Caerphilly county borough home, and I have no doubt that this success will continue for many years to come”.
Further research from the report showed ICE businesses outperformed the average UK lifespan for companies; figures show that 61% of businesses survive the three year incubation period, whereas ICE businesses had a survival rate of 77%.
Furthermore, 8 out of 10 members of ICE felt that the centre had a positive impact on their attitude when it came to innovation.
Jamie McGowan, Campus Director at Welsh ICE said:
“The findings of this report are a testament to the hard work of all the business owners, staff and entrepreneurs based on campus. Simply put, the ICE model works and shows that if you build an environment that inspires community and gives start-up businesses the right funding and support, they will thrive and create the jobs that have a wider economic benefit.
“Success through collaboration was the mission of ICE founders Anthony & William Record, Gareth Jones and Mandy Weston, and I am proud that we continue to build on that legacy.”
Three technology-based ICE businesses also managed to raise over £1m over the last 12 months.
Mr McGoawan concluded:
“We are always looking to reach out to those who have started a business or are thinking about making that leap.
The spirit of collaboration and support at ICE is a testament to how welcoming the community is, and we would encourage budding entrepreneurs to put their business ideas on paper and contact us. With the guidance and support of the ICE campus, it really is possible to grow a business of your own.”