University of Leeds

Innovation and Enterprise Centre

Client Challenges

The University of Leeds wanted to make a step change to its Innovation Centre initiative – not just moving the activity into a new building in a prominent position at the front of the University campus, city centre facing, but also moving it culturally to becoming a high profile gateway to research and innovation at the University.  The aspiration was to create a place that would integrate university and business activity, fostering collaboration and partnership in a truly progressive, open fashion.

Our Solutions

Creative Places worked with the Director of Research and Innovation Development and the Director of Estates and a wider professional team to look at how a building concept might best evolve to deliver to an agenda around enhancing research at the University and engagement with businesses in the Leeds City Region. We worked hard to consider building design/specification as well as functionality/engagement issues and made recommendations that were aligned with ambitions of the Innovation Centre Managing Director.


The University finalised design of a highly innovative building well designed for its specific purpose. It has great confidence that it will provide a place where businesses looking to innovate can come to enhance their productivity through accessing the University’s capabilities and talent. The new 10,000 sq m Centre includes triple height spaces, with the ground and first floors focused on communication and collaboration and acting as the hub of what is now called the Nexus building. It will be a hub for a vibrant innovation ecosystem connecting business, academia and partners via a year-round programme of events and activities to deliver ‘cultivated collaborations’.