Welsh ICE

A co-working space and innovation centre in Wales is set to contribute at least £36 million to the Welsh economy over the next three years, according to a new report.

Published yesterday at the Senedd in Cardiff, the report found that Welsh ICE (Innovation Centre for Enterprise), which is based in Caerphilly, has already contributed more than £13m to the local economy in just three years.

If its current GVA (gross value added) contribution continues over the next three years, Welsh ICE will generate £36.3m by 2018, and that figure could rise to more than £50m if its members achieve their projections for job creation.

Welsh ICE chief executive Gareth Jones, who won the Entrepreneurs' Champion award at the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, said: “The community at ICE is incredibly inspiring, and we are proud to have shown that small amounts of investment combined with the right strategy can have a huge impact for fledgling entrepreneurs.

“Naturally, as the companies gain momentum they are more likely to create jobs and wealth for the local economy, but if they cannot afford to get started in the first place, it will never happen.

“The concept is simple – we help businesses get off the ground and start trading – it’s the implementation that’s difficult, and that’s where our fantastic team at ICE really shine.”

The innovation centre has recently succeeded in raising £250,000 to fund full-time desks and mentoring for 12 months for 50 new members.