First look: Lincoln technology hub for businesses

Businesses in and around Lincoln will be able to make use of state-of-the-art equipment, such as 3D printing, as a new Technology Hub is launched.

The hub, which is based at the University of Lincoln, forms part of the county-wide Onlincolnshire technology project, and is the fourth to be launched.

The official launch event takes place on February 27 from 4.30pm, with demonstrations of the equipment and taster sessions explaining more about the free training and expert advice available.

The project aims to encourage businesses to get to grips with new digital technology and make use of the expert advice and workshops available free of charge.

The main area of the hub, featuring 3D printing and laser cutting equipment, can be found in the workshop of the Architecture Building at the university’s Brayford Pool Campus.

All of the equipment can be borrowed or used for free by eligible businesses, with just a charge to cover insurance costs and materials used.

The hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Councillor Marc Jones, who oversees the Onlincolnshire involvement, said: “We manage the council finances. The Onlincolnshire project is part of a five hub project which includes workshops, business support.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for businesses. The only restriction is the imagination of the person that’s applying.

“Design businesses, construction, heritage and arts businesses can all make use of the great machinery that is available here.

“Businesses need to realise that this is here and make the first step to come along and realise the benefits. That’s where the advice comes in too, there is great one-to-one help.

“A small business can still be a world-leading business and realising the potential of technology is a big part of that.”

Senior Technician at the hub, Kevin Hallsworth, said: “We have got the laser cutter which can cut and engrave on almost any material.

“I come from a traditional craft background and I think it’s really important people in businesses learn to adapt to the changing environment.”

Businesses interested in using the hub can book an appointment by calling 01522 835097 or 837494, or by emailing thehub@lincoln.ac.uk.