A new North East hub designed to encourage collaboration between education and industry was officially launched last week.

Local businesses, entrepreneurs and students are now able to gain access to the Newcastle College Synergy Hub at its Rye Hill campus on the edge of Newcastle city centre.

On Friday November 5, leaders of industry from across the region were invited to be the first to see the newly completed hub and learn about how businesses can work with the college to support innovation and growth.

Repurposing space once used as the group’s headquarters, the hub provides businesses with a ‘front door’ to skills and productivity solutions, supporting them to work and operate in a flexible way and interact with other businesses in a co-working environment, whilst accessing and contributing to curriculum development for the College and its students.

From employers to entrepreneurs, micro-businesses and SMEs, to the region’s larger organisations, the Synergy Hub will not only offer practical support, advice and workforce planning, but provide access to the technical skills training available from the further education sector and continued professional development for staff, networking and collaboration opportunities.

To mark the Hub’s launch, attendees were treated to a guided tour of the facilities at the Rye Hill campus, including the college’s Enterprise and Digital Hubs, all complete with state-of-the-art equipment, breakout rooms, meeting areas and co-working spaces.

Grant Glendinning, Executive Principal of NCG North said: “I am really excited about what these facilities can offer both young people and local businesses. The idea of the Synergy Hub essentially derives from the need to connect education and industry in order to develop the knowledge and skills which are needed in the region.

“With the Synergy Hub, we hope to help nurture new talent as well as retain the talent within our region – Newcastle is a fantastic city with so much potential for growth, but in order to do so we need to provide an education to build the foundation for people to go out into their careers and thrive.”

Liz Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of NCG, said that the Hub provides “a community centred place of opportunity” for students and businesses alike, adding: “As a group, we want to have a positive impact in all the localities we serve. The Synergy Hub is our contribution to entrepreneurial Newcastle.”

The Synergy Hub’s first ever Entrepreneur in Residence was also revealed – Newcastle Startup Week founder, PlanDigital director and ‘super connector’ Paul Lancaster.

Paul, who also established Founders Friday to encourage networking among the city’s entrepreneurs, commented: “It’s a huge honour to be invited to be the first entrepreneur in resident at the college.

“I’ve personally benefitted from co-working across the North East and beyond. Co-working is a way for us to share ideas and energy, working together to grow and create.

“This hub provides an opportunity for us to come back from the pandemic and build a new entrepreneurial eco-system in the region.”

To find out more, or enquire about using The Synergy Hub visit https://www.ncl-coll.ac.uk/employers/the-synergy-hub/