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UK's Nottingham city offers Indian companies free office space

April 22, 2015

One of Britain's lesser known cities, Nottingham, has announced an offer of free office space for a period of two years for any Indian company looking to set up a new business in the region.

The City Council of Nottingham, which falls in the East Midlands region of the UK, wants to encourage Indian companies to look beyond London as a business base.

"Nottingham is a much better place to do business and live than London, far more cost-effective. I came here by accident and didn't want to leave. I now want to ensure others from India can get a similar leg up," said Nat Puri, a Punjab-born businessman and Honorary Freeman or ambassador of Nottingham.

"This offer of a 250 square meter office space in the heart of the city is open to any firm free of cost for two years. We hope it will be that first step that breaks the inertia and makes Indian companies explore the opportunities here for themselves," he said on behalf of Nottingham City Council.

Chris Henning, Nottingham City Council's Director of Economic Development, added, "We hope this would provide a kind of soft landing for Indian companies. Our city can offer a very attractive investment platform for Indian businesses, due to our fast-growing, innovative businesses, academic specialisms and location at the heart of the UK, providing a strong gateway to trade with Europe".

The offer forms part of a long-term India strategy led by the city council and involving organisations such as Nottingham Means Business and University of Nottingham.
The strategy centres around connecting with India by developing an investment bridge to attract Indian businesses to the region and encourage Nottingham businesses to explore business opportunities in India, including academic and cultural links.

"It is very heartening to see that Nottingham has such a broad India strategy. India is among the best performing economies in the world and there is tremendous potential that can be translated into concrete results," said Virander Paul, deputy high commissioner of India to the UK, during a meeting with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) delegation in the city today.
He also announced an offer to the University of Nottingham to work with the Indian Consul General's office in Birmingham on establishing an India-UK co-funded chair of Indian studies for short-term exchange of faculty members between the two countries.

"We are seeing rejuvenated interest from Indian companies to venture out and look at business opportunities in untapped areas across the UK – and Nottingham is our first stop under CII's new RoadtripUK initiative to strengthen regional business engagement," explained ShuchitaSonalika, Director and Head of CII's UK operations.

Tara Naidu, Air India UK regional director and a member of the delegation, added, "Air India is looking at expanding its services around the UK and we will certainly look at East Midlands airport as a potential hub for new flights if we see trade expanding in the region.

Nottingham, known for its association with the English folk legend of Robin Hood, is among the UK's core cities with the highest proportion of employment in knowledge-based services.

Apr 23, 2015
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