New partnership to help start-ups flourish

Leeds Beckett University has joined forces with internet service provider Exa Networks to provide super-fast connection and advice to start-up firms.

Leeds Beckett University has joined forces with Exa Networks to provide broadband connection and advice to start-up firms at centres including the Piece Mill in Halifax.

The partnership will allow the university to offer fast broadband to businesses based within its University Business Centres in Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax.

Bradford-based Exa Networks will be opening a data centre in Leeds Beckett’s new Halifax University Business Centre, next month in the historic Piece Mill.

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The centres support hundreds of early stage businesses to set up and grow. The university said the Halifax site will include DarkLight, a super-fast internet connection capable of achieving speeds of up to 100,000Mbps (100Gbps).

Katie Rigarlsford, of Leeds Beckett, said: “All our client businesses need to find legal, financial, and digital solutions when they are starting and growing their businesses. We are delighted to join forces with our key partners in these sectors to help support the success and growth of our University Business Centres.”

Exa Networks will join existing centre partners, law firm Lupton Fawcett and Yorkshire Bank, in providing regular free advice clinics to clients at the centres as well as workshops relating to topics that are relevant to client businesses, including digital skills, legal issues, access to finance and business planning.

Mark Cowgill, Exa co-founder, added: “With the average UK broadband speed being just 22Mbps, the benefits that dark fibre technology can bring are extensive and already well documented in other Gigabit cities across the globe. These state-of-the-art office spaces located across the county will provide Yorkshire’s brightest new businesses with the bandwidth and high speeds they need to develop, grow and compete in an ever more digital world.”