How did we do that?

One of our key aims at the Centre is to 'practice what we preach' in so far as we try to make our operations here innovative, sustainable and efficient. As businesses grow and take on their own new premises, whether a long-term lease or a privately owned unit, there is much to consider in terms of the facilities and back-end management. Here are a few insights of how we have chosen do things at the Centre:


Energy Efficiency

Our tenants all benefit from energy usage being included in their monthly fee to keep things simple, so it is important to encourage efficient usage and try to keep the environmental and cost impact down. We have invested in individual Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs)  in each room, and we benefit from gas central heating throughout.

We have also invested in a 3.6 kWp solar PV array on the roof of the Centre.  This provides about 2,800 kWh of electricity over a year, and greatly reduces our carbon footprint.  We also benefit from the government's feed in tariff which will help us to recoup this investment over the next decade.


Waste reduction

Recycling is actively encouraged throughout the Centre, and we also compost fruit waste and teabags for example.  Recycling points are in place in the kitchens and so we are working hard to prevent milk bottles, drinks cans, plastic containers and paper/card from simply entering landfill.


Access Control and Security

Clearly we are not going to dwell on the details here! However, a key requirement for the Centre was to offer a high level of personal security whilst making it easy for employees to come and go at all hours as work demands. As such, we have invested in RFID locks on common doors and office doors that track entry and exit as well as enable new keys to be issued quickly as companies expand and take on new staff. Being similar to an advanced hotel system, we can also move companies seamlessly to new offices without the need for new keys to be cut.

We also have intruder alarms and CCTV cameras that provide real-time alerts of security breaches using the internet and cellular network. As such, our security team can respond quickly if there is an issue at any time of the day or night.


Internet and Local Area Network Security

We provide cabled LAN and Wi-Fi throughout the Centre, using smart switches and an advanced router to create subdomains on separate vlans for each office and hot desk zone. This protects resident company's devices from being exposed to other hardware on the network, increasing the security and also the network efficiency. We also offer guest Wi-Fi in the meeting room and cafe that is in turn isolated from the other business users. We can thus manage data traffic rates for each vlan for the benefit of all the resident companies.


Flexible phone system

A major problem with facilities that offer ISDN-based phone systems to tenant companies is that they cannot unbundle ISDN groups. This means that if a company moves on, their office number often has to be left behind.

At the Wyche Innovation Centre, we offer a VOIP-based system in which one or more numbers can be issued to a company almost instantly and this can later be moved with them should they desire. Moreover, the system enables non-geographic or other-geographic numbers to be allocated, so our companies are not limited to a Malvern 01684 number.


Meeting room and hot-desk booking

We use an on-line Google Calendar system to enable companies to book the meeting room and hot desks. This integrates with user's existing calendars, makes checking availability in real-time very easy, and enables bookings to be made quickly even off-site.


Shared copying and printing

This required quite a bit of research, as we wanted an affordable but good quality multifunction colour laser printer that could be used by our resident businesses, and enable us to charge a nominal fee on a per-use basis. The answer was the Canon i-SENSYS MF8340Cdn Multifunction Colour Laser Printer  which has the ability to assign a Login Code and PIN for each user, like a department code. This enables us to invoice for black/white or colour prints or photocopies, as well as encouraging double sided printing by charging less for duplex services. The device is also a scanner, and can be set to send the scanned files directly to the user's email address. Finally, users can send a confidential file to the network printer from anywhere in the Centre, but not let it print until they reach the machine and enter a code.


Advanced stock and financials monitoring in the cafe

With the Cafe operated by Jamboree and working on a profit share basis, with sale-or-return options for local collaborators and vendors, we needed an advanced way to monitor stock and sales.

As such we use a cloud-based electronic point of sale (EPOS) system enabling us to update the stock and process sales remotely. This means the cafe operating company and visitor centre management company can both monitor what is popular and makes sure the stock is ready for the next shift.


Visitor people-counter

We wanted a cost-effective and fairly automated way to monitor the visitor numbers using the Malvern Hills GeoCentre. Off-the-shelf systems that provide date-time data and remote network access are expensive, so we decided to make a people-counter using a Raspberry Pi computer.  Moreover, our first version was developed as part of some local school work experience projects, and we plan to make future improvements part of an on-going series of student projects.

Keep in touch...

Wyche Innovation Centre, Walwyn Road, Malvern WR13 6PL

Email:  info [at]

Tel: +44 (0) 1684 252 152

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