This month we turn eight and have lots to celebrate despite the challenges of the last 12 months.
I am really proud of how we have come together over the last year, not just as a team, but as a whole Centre. We have really supported each other through these very strange and uncertain times, as well as embraced and adapted very quickly to a change in working practices.
Throughout the pandemic, we have had a skeleton staff at the Centre with our marketing, events and design teams working from home. Collaboratively we have successfully managed the Centre and are now gradually bringing back the team on a staggered basis as restrictions ease. We’re eager to get the whole team back and start filling the building with more people once we’re allowed to get events back up and running.
It has also been nice to hear from some of our tenants that have continued to work from the Centre during the pandemic, that have felt they have been able to bond more with other tenants, despite the social distancing restrictions.
During the first lockdown, our tech team created parts for PPE using our 3D Printers. As part of the ‘Big Print’ organised by 3D Crowd, we created head and chin restraints to be fitted to shields for people staffing shops, pharmacies, care homes and delivery drivers. Our 3D printers helped towards the creation and distribution of over 200,000 face shields.
Tenant Surfachem swapped its usual production to make hand sanitiser for local organisations. The team went from idea to manufacture in 10 days and donated over 3,200 bottles of hand sanitiser since it started production, most of which was supplied to frontline services including nurses in Covid-19 Wards, ambulance drivers, hospices, care homes, pharmacists, and Royal Mail staff.
Despite the pandemic, our tenants have continued to operate. Some in the building and others from home. Each year we conduct a tenant survey to find out about business growth, how they are making use of the 3M BIC and its facilities and quantify how those benefits have impacted business performance. Here is an overview of our latest survey findings:
- The average stay for a client at the 3M BIC is just over 6 years, with our longest tenant, NPL, having been here since we first opened.
- Tenants choose the centre because of its managed office services, central Huddersfield location, facilities and proximity to the University of Huddersfield.
- 100% of tenants have said that being at the 3M BIC has helped with business growth, with two having doubled their turnover in their time at the 3M BIC.
- 52% have also developed new products/services whilst being based here.
- 86% have collaborated with other tenants in the building.
- 47% of tenants make use of technology and all tenants use the meeting room facilities available.
- Due to the close proximity to the University of Huddersfield, our tenants have been able to access KTP opportunities, hire placement students, undertake collaborative research projects. Some have also worked with the University on setting up or assisting with a spin out venture.
- Some businesses have also sponsored staff on Higher education or training courses.
It is reassuring to see that our tenants are still experiencing business growth despite these uncertain times and I look forward to seeing further success over the next year. We have also recently welcomed a new tenant Coterie Marketing to the 3M BIC community, and have several joining us in the coming months.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming more of our team and our tenants back to the Centre, as well as opening our doors to the public.
Wishing you all the best for the next 12 months.
CEO, 3M BIC