The Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Enterprise and International at Buckinghamshire New University has told businesses in High Wycombe that as part of its enterprise activity it will be supporting students to set up firms in the town and continue to contribute to its economy.
Speaking as part of town centre management company HWBIDCo’s Business Week, Professor Tim Middleton chaired a session discussing the future of High Wycombe’s town centre which also explored opportunities for businesses to work with Bucks New University, including through new degree apprenticeships. He said: “Part of our agenda at Bucks New University is ensuring our students add to the dynamic of the town. We are a town centre organisation and the future success of the town centre is fundamental to our future.”
Prof Middleton pointed to a 2016 British Property Federation report which set out interesting models for town centre regeneration, and also referred to the success of Swansea in regenerating its high street through working with the creative sector.
He added: “We are interested in working with anybody who is interested in making High Wycombe a more attractive place to visit or in which to create and develop new business opportunities.”
Businesses work with the University on researching and developing new products and services, as well as benefiting from consultation and expert advice.
Working in partnership with leading employers, the University aims to offer around 370 new opportunities for apprentices and their employers for the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017. The apprenticeship levy will be paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year, and will be charged at 0.5 per cent. The levy will be paid to HMRC through PAYE.
Oliver O’Dell, Chief Executive of HWBIDCo, said he hoped the session would be the first in a regular series of meetings between the University and other town centre companies working together to grow the town economy.