The Enterprise@Lincoln building had its official opening on Thursday, May 27th with Lord Victor Adebowale, the university’s chancellor, unveiling a clock and a plaque to mark the occasion.

The centre, which cost £3.2 million, was part-funded by the East Midlands Development Agency, Lincolnshire Enterprise, and Lincolnshire County Council. It’s the hub for the university’s enterprise and employer activities.

The building, which has been open since late 2009, aims to support the creation of higher skilled jobs and the number of new start-up businesses in Lincolnshire, which Lord Adebowale says has given Lincoln the recognition it deserves: “It has put you on the map, basically. Clearly, just from the state of today you’ve got businesses that want to work with University of Lincoln that are based here, not just in Sparkhouse, but at Lincoln.

“I think it is a fantastic facility, you really are on the edge of doing some great things, and already we have seen that the University of Lincoln has shot up the league tables, it has made the biggest improvement of any university in England, so you are the future.”

However, Lord Adebowale was keen to point out that the Enterprise@Lincoln facilities are not just to boost the credentials of the university, but to help the students: “I think students can learn about possibilities. The world is your oyster in that sense, this is a little pearl and I think students can understand what is possible out there, right here in Lincoln.

“I think students probably believe that there is no hope for them out there that opportunities don’t exist because of the economy… but there are opportunities to learn and develop here, to open up the students’ eyes, give them some hope when they graduate and don’t accept the inevitable.”

The move from the main administration building has led to an increase in interest and understanding of what happens at the Enterprise@Lincoln building, says Gina Davies, graduate enterprise intern: “I think the building has been really well received. I think we have had at least more enquiries about how employees can work with students, definitely had more interest in the building as a whole for tenancy space we offer here to virtual tenancy and packages, but also the mentoring and support that we’ve had as well.

“I mean numbers coming through the doors have increased, I haven’t the figures to hand, but more than increased from when we were back in the main atrium building and I just think we can offer a much more rounded support package here now, and we are slowly getting the word out to the rest of the university as well.”

After the opening ceremony there was a “Question Time” style debate, which was chaired by Professor Mary Stuart, the university’s vice-chancellor. The audience, made up of local council members, students and local entrepreneurs, quizzed the panel about business opportunities in Lincoln.