Leeds Beckett University has opened the doors to a new professional, city centre space for the regional business community to meet, collaborate and access the university’s academic expertise and student talent.
The Knowledge Exchange is located on the first floor of the Rose Bowl on Portland Way – the home of Leeds Business School. The hub offers a range of private meeting spaces and open workspaces for working, meeting colleagues and clients, and connecting with the university’s business support services, academics and students.
Natalie Allen, Head of Business Partnerships at Leeds Beckett University, explained: “Knowledge exchange is about taking all our research, knowhow and support available at the university and bringing this to the business community – to exchange ideas, evidence, and expertise. It’s a great process for translating academic study into usable and transferable management capabilities.
“That is why we have created The Knowledge Exchange – we are committed to making the interaction with the university simple. This is a physical front door to the University for us to support businesses in our region to be sustainable, to innovate, and to grow strategically.”
Leeds Beckett University has an extensive business support portfolio: from access to academic expertise and consultancy across all university disciplines, to strategic business support and innovation programmes; accessing the university’s talented graduates and students through placements, student consultancy and employment; professional development courses; and a large portfolio of degree apprenticeships.
The university’s range of funded support programmes includes the Government-funded Help to Grow: Management course, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), and the #WECAN (Women Empowered through Coaching and Networking) programme.
Garry Cromack, Operations Director at Tomlinson Building Contractors, said: “The Knowledge Exchange is a great space and facility. Our offices are based outside Leeds and our meeting rooms are quite formal – equally coffee shops can be noisy and are not private. It is very convenient to have somewhere in Leeds city centre, with a more relaxed atmosphere, to meet clients or mentor colleagues.”
Currently, all meeting room spaces can be booked free of charge.
Spaces include boardrooms accommodating between six and 10 people, an Innovation Design Space for eight people with sofa-style seating, and smaller pods for two and four people. These include display screens, Logitech All-in-one conferencecam and Logitech Swytch Bring your own device (BYOD) connection. There is sofa space for more casual working, a kitchen and coffee machine, as well as access to the R.B Espresso café and Beckett Kitchen dining hall located in the Rose Bowl.
Core business hours are Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 16:00. The space also hosts events – including expert guest lectures, regional roundtable events and academic innovation showcases – as well as being bookable for students of the university when meeting clients as part of student consultancy projects, or when setting up their own businesses and entrepreneurial activities.