Gloucestershire’s first Innovation Lab opens at Coleford Library
Gloucestershire Libraries have proudly opened the doors to their newly refurbished Innovation Lab at Coleford Library.
Funded by Gfirst LEP as part of their Growth Hub network expansion, this friendly, inspiring venue aims to connect businesses, schools and communities with the digital technology of the future.
The Innovation Lab was officially declared ‘open’ on 29 July by Laura Hurcombe from SPP Pumps, who said: “It was clear to us from an early stage that the vision, the location and the team here at the Lab made it something we simply had to be involved in – a project that delivers access to digital technology, positive inspirational role models and innovative thinking skills to our community. Who knows, maybe I have already met a future SPP innovative leader in one of the many children who’ve visited the Lab?
“I strongly encourage local businesses and individuals to look at how they can support this amazing initiative, as I myself have been inspired not only by the technology but also by the passion of the people who’ve made this happen.”
From 1pm the doors were open to the public, where people of all ages were inspired by 3D clay printing, laptop and tablet building, coding, virtual reality and a design studio. More than 450 people attended Coleford Library on the day and many visitors explored the Lab with feedback being incredibly positive. One visitor said: “I’m really impressed by the range of technology on offer here – my children are having so much fun, they aren’t even aware that they are learning at the same time. Brilliant!”
Colin Chick, strategic advisor for communities and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, also attended the opening and was delighted to receive a demonstration of the 360o camera from one of the younger visitors – Jamie, aged 10.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries, said: “It’s remarkable to see such confidence in both using and explaining this type of digital technology. It really highlights the importance of the Innovation Lab’s mission to empower confidence in all ages and abilities in order to inspire a career in digital and technical businesses. Being based in the library makes the technology even more accessible, and we look forward to launching the second Innovation Lab in Gloucester Library later this year.”
From September the Innovation Lab will be offering workshops for schools, businesses and the community and needs your help to make it possible. If you have some spare time and a passion for learning and inspiring others, your help as a volunteer will help the Lab to deliver a wide range of activities to excite and inspire all ages and abilities.
If you would like to know more about volunteering, or would like to get your school, community group or business involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ilabnetwork.