A private sector body chaired by oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood has tabled plans to deliver a new digital hub in the heart of the city centre.
Plans have been submitted for a £1.5 million refurbishment of RGU’s former administration building on Schoolhill to create the ONE Digital & Entrepreneurship (ONE D&E) Hub, a focal point for activity and investment to develop the digital industry in the north-east.
The 20,000 square foot hub will provide the base for the recently formed ONE CodeBase partnership between ONE D&E and digital tech incubator CodeBase.
It would also be a base for RGU’s new entrepreneurship accelerator programme, announced in May, which will fund and support teams of entrepreneurial students, staff and recent alumni in creating new businesses.
The hub will provide meeting space to support the ambitions of early stage digital companies as they work towards becoming more established. Sir Ian Wood said: “Building digital capacity and capability in north-east Scotland is central to delivering the shared ambition of a long-term regional economic renaissance.
“ONE D&E is investing in activity and a dedicated space to support digital cluster growth in the region.
“The development of the D&E Hub in Aberdeen city centre will provide a focal point for digital tech business incubation and growth and wider entrepreneurship activity.”
Gordon McConnell, vice principal of commercial and regional innovation at RGU, said: “The development of the hub will see one of RGU’s iconic and historic city centre buildings reinvigorated as a centre for new activity involving ONE D&E, RGU and ONE CodeBase. This is an important evolution in the relationship between RGU and ONE as we invest in the future success of the north-east economy.”
Steven Drost, chief strategy officer at CodeBase, said they are “proud and excited” to come to the city.
He added that having a partner in ONE means they can get “straight to work” in helping start-ups to grow in the region.
The Category A-listed building, which dates back to 1885, has historically been home to Gray’s School of Art.
The proposal includes an enhancement of the existing entrance to create a lighter, more open space.
Further internal works also include the demolition of existing walls, all of which are later additions to the original design.
The refurbishment of the hub will begin this autumn and open in the spring.