Nottingham Trent University: Dryden Enterprise Centre

Nottingham Trent University is opening a new building for local businesses, start-ups, students, graduates, and entrepreneurs to co-locate, connect, and collaborate.

The Dryden Enterprise Centre (DEC) will accommodate growth and innovation-based businesses from across the local region next to University spin outs, as well as student and graduate enterprises. The centre will provide members with high-quality facilities and an extensive business support offer in the heart of Nottingham city centre.

Development and Delivery

How did you develop and deliver it? 

The enterprise innovation centre has been in development for the past 3 years since its initial concept stage in 2018. It is now in the final stages of completion and the finishing touches are being added to the building before opening its doors in spring 2021.

DEC support includes:

  • Flexible memberships tailored around members and their business
  • Flexible or dedicated desk space
  • Dedicated office space in a range of sizes
  • A comprehensive enterprise events programme
  • Events and meeting spaces, from boardrooms to modern conference spaces
  • A café bar and kitchen to relax, socialise, or connect with other businesses
  • 24-hour access
  • City centre location within NTU’s city centre campus
  • Access to business support and opportunities from the University’s wider enterprise network
  • A dynamic environment for enterprising peers to connect

How was it funded?

The initiative is part funded and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014 – 2020.

What were the obstacles (if any) and how did you overcome them?

Building a physical space comes with its own unique set of challenges and unsurprisingly, the impact of Covid and Brexit have had a knock-on effect on the development of the DEC. Communication has been an absolute essential part of business continuity and has helped as processes and schedules have been adapted in response to guidelines and restrictions. 


NTU works with and supports 100s of Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMEs), as well as NTU students, graduates, and staff. The DEC will provide an exciting new base for local enterprise across Nottinghamshire to work, connect and innovate together.

The tailored and dedicated range of support, including: programmes and events, access to a Business Development Manager and Enterprise Advisors, resources, mentoring, and network opportunities is available for all members to make use of. Whether that be expanding the team in a new professional office space, benefitting from high-quality student and graduate talent, or utilising training or funding opportunities, the DEC has a range of support on offer to drive impact.

Impact Measurement

Since 2016, NTU has supported over 900 SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to create new products and services. Student and graduate-led businesses, supported by NTU Enterprise, currently employ over 800 people in the local community.

The work of the centre will build on NTU’s success in creating and supporting enterprises to start, grow and innovate.

Entrepreneurial Organisation

The centre will further contribute to the entrepreneurial and enterprising spirit NTU embraces throughout the University.

Next steps?

Soon to be tenants are preparing to move into the DEC when it opens in spring 2021! The team are busy co ordinating the events and programme schedule, as well as growing the overall enterprise community that members will have access to and benefit from.

More information about the DEC can be found here

Contact Name

Deshaun Hancock

Contact Email Address