OVER 80 people now work in the fully let innovation centre at the the Ecos building in Ballymena and the hope is it will act as a springboard for further development, a council report says.
Details were given to elected representatives at the main monthly meeting of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council on Tuesday night.
The Ecos Innovation Centre is a partnership between the council and Northern Ireland’s next generation science park, Catalyst Inc, recently rebranded Catalyst.
Councillors were told the partnership is recognised as a model of best practice in growing new industry sectors in mid and east Antrim and across the knowledge economy in Northern Ireland.
The report to councillors said the council’s investment of £1.7million to refurbish the Ecos Centre created 18,000 sq ft of Grade A digitally-enabled, high spec, lettable workspace ‘surrounded by a nature park for knowledge entrepreneurs’.
The centre is due to be officially opened in September.
Councillors were told the centre is fully let and ‘had to date enabled the creation of 86 high value, knowledge economy based jobs to the Borough’.
The report said current tenents include Plot Box, Clarkes Facades, Ballymena Block Management, Young Enterprise and the Federation of Passenger Transport and the Council’s Development Directorate.
Councillors were told the official opening will ‘showcase the evolution of Ecos as well as plans for the next phase of the project through the planned £26m City Deal i4C innovation project at St Patrick’s Barracks site’.
The report said the workspace provided ‘opportunities to inspire young people to start and grow their business in Mid and East Antrim’.
Councillors heard the Ecos Innovation Centre ‘will continue to attract significant jobs and investment’ to the borough.
Ballymena councillor Eugene Reid (SDLP) welcomed the developments at the Ecos Park.