Hunt is on for Newcastle 'Google campus' style base

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Google style in Mountain View Google style in Mountain View

The north east is soon to be home to a major hub for the digital and creative industries with a ‘Google campus’ style centre setting up in the city.

Paul Smith director and programme manager of Ignite100, has secured funding for the initiative and says he is well in the way to finding a suitable premises which will open its doors within six months.

“We are looking for property at the moment. We want to do essentially what Google campus does. We want to have, people freelancing with hotdesking but also workspaces and office space with more established companies as well.

“We also think that there’s a long-term play in terms of education. We want to start preparing an education schedule, a programme, not just for professionals but also for school children from the ages of eight upwards.

“Ultimately if we can do that as well, then in five or ten years time we are helping to solve that issue of having a skilled workforce which wants to work in digital.”

The new venture is separate to the Ignite100 programme which is currently half way through the latest 14 week schedule of mentoring and support for new technology start-ups.

The new entrepreneurs recently spent two weeks in New York looking at the way thinks work Stateside as well as meetings in the capital’s digital centre of Shoreditch.

Smith explained that the activities of the new centre would be complementary in building the digital scene in the region and noted there was a lot more demand from people wanting to work with the programme than they could currently supply.

“We see ourselves as a very active part of the start-up community as well - we have a community fund that meet-ups can tap into bring guests here, pay for train fares, or pizza or hotel rooms because we are of the belief that, if we can play a part to improving the quantity and quality of meet-ups, then in the the long-term, we have better developers, better designers and better start-ups as well.”

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