Using insight to support local SMEs

Partner spotlight | Bruntwood SciTech & Leeds Beckett Innovation Hub


Deb Hetherington

Platform's Tech Hub, at the heart of Leeds City Centre, is home to more than 80 digital disruptive businesses. In our vast experience supporting SMEs, we know that growing businesses need a variety of support to succeed, and the activity between Leeds Business School and Bruntwood SciTech aims to provide exactly that.

  • Project: Bruntwood SciTech & Leeds Beckett Innovation Hub
  • Spotlight partner: Deb Hetherington, Bruntwood SciTech

Tell us a bit about your organisation and what led you to working with Leeds Business School?

Bruntwood SciTech is the UK's leading property provider to the science and tech sector, including the largest life science campus in the UK, Alderley Park. Our mission is to create thriving innovation districts, and we do this through partnerships and collaboration with universities, NHS Trusts and a variety of their key stakeholders. We identified Leeds Beckett as an integral partner in supporting the SMEs based within Platform, and the growing innovation district. The business support, funding, and graduate talent delivered through Leeds Business School is second to none and has already provided great results for several the businesses based at Platform.

Why were you passionate about this project and why is it important to the work you already do?

Developing an innovation hub that filters the business support offered by Leeds Business School directly to the growing digital tech businesses within the region was an exciting project to design. Bruntwood SciTech is a property development company with a difference, in that we have a team exclusively dedicated to the growth of the businesses based with us. Working with partners like Leeds Beckett is key to the achievement of that growth. 

What have you enjoyed most about this collaboration?

Without doubt, the best part of working with Leeds Business School is the impact the team can have within an SME. It's almost a well-kept secret, the sheer level of quality business support wrapped up in the university that spans across consultancy, coaching, funding, knowledge transfer, streamlining of talent and so much more. Often one conversation with a relevant Business Development Manager can uncover a wealth of free, or heavily funded support for an innovative SME.

What have you learnt through this project?

We work closely with Leeds Beckett University as I’m is still an associate within the Research & Enterprise team there. This means I’m aware of the range of support available to our businesses, but it has been a real eye opener to the rest of the team, as well as some of our other sites. Linking with universities for business support, if you are a growing business, is so worthwhile.

What's next for Bruntwood SciTech?

Bruntwood SciTech is a growing and innovative property developer looking at growing existing innovation districts, as well as expanding into new cities and regions. In Leeds particularly, we are excited to work with stakeholders and partners to grow the innovation district alongside the city’s strengths and ambitions.

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