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30 jobs at risk under plan to close university business centre

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

Up to 30 jobs could be lost under a university's plan to close a business support centre.

The Business Solutions Centre is set to close

The Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre, which is based at the Science Park and run by the city's university, has been earmarked for closure.

University vice chancellor Geoff Layer said the decision was indicative of changing times but insisted the university would continue to offer support for businesses. He said a consultation was ongoing with staff and that it was possible some could be moved to other roles at the university.

The centre has offered support and advice for both start-up and well-established firms in the region for the last decade.

The university runs other Business Solution Centres in West Bromwich, Telford, Kidderminster and Hereford, which bosses said would be reviewed on a "case-by-case basis".

Mr Layer said: "We are reviewing a number of business functions at the university. We need to redetermine whether we still need some things in the same way.

"We have a much more digital economy than we used to and we need to reflect on how business works compared to when we set up 10 years ago. We are moving into a different business world.

Mr Layer said the end of EU funding for some projects connection to the solutions centre was also a factor.

He said: "Some of them are EU-funded projects. We are working with an EU project where funding is coming to an end. I don't see much likelihood of future EU projects in this area."

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It represents another change in the running of the university, which has undergone a rapid expansion over recent years and is currently in the process of trying to buy the famous Beatties building.

Mr Layer added: "We have been in consultation with staff and colleagues asking for views and it is an ongoing process. Individuals may end up with other roles at the university."

The other Business Solution Centres across the Midlands will be reviewed over the next six months apart from the one in Hereford, which will be looked at upon completion of the £9m Midlands Centre for Cyber Security, a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council which is currently under construction.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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