Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced a £7.7m allocation from the Growing Places fund to The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes.
The funding will go to the Central Research Laboratory (CRL) at the Cathedral Group site. Cathedral say the CRL will be a pioneering facility to incubate new hi-tech manufacturing businesses. They hope it will help The Old Vinyl Factory become “a hive of 21st Century innovation, manufacturing and commerce”.
The funding will enable one of the existing buildings on the site, The Record Store, to become a support facility for new manufacturing start-ups where innovators will be able to take their idea through the final stages of development and to market.
Cathedral say the CRL is the first building of its kind in the UK and will be “a jobs factory”, nurturing and training a highly skilled workforce. The hope is that new start-ups in high-tech, design-led manufacturing industries will be assisted with comprehensive business incubation support including access to a fabrication laboratory, and a small batch production facility.
They will also receive business mentoring, through partnerships with organisations such as Brunel University, the RSA and the Design Museum, along with early seed capital funding – investment of between £50,000 and £250,000 will be available to CRL entrepreneurs.
Cathedral want this holistic model of business support, access to finance and technical facilities to make the CRL at The Old Vinyl Factory a unique, world-leading centre of high profile, entrepreneurial activity.
Work will start on The Record Store in the spring of next year with completion a year later. Richard Upton, Chief Executive of Cathedral Group, said “The CRL is the first step for us on the road to delivering the commitment we made to the London Borough of Hillingdon when we started work in Hayes – to bring 4,000 new jobs to our site. This is a huge contribution to that goal and we are so happy that the Mayor and London’s LEP board are supportive of our mission. This is very good news for London.”