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Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 set to be biggest yet

Workshops, Q&As, networking, and conferences, with the flagship award ceremony to come.

The launch of Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 at Space Park Leicester (Credit: LLEP / Will Johnston).
The launch of Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 at Space Park Leicester (Credit: LLEP / Will Johnston).

More than 1,000 attendees came to Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 during a busy fortnight of events.


Organisers say that 2024 looks set to be the biggest innovation festival to date. Two further events are still to come next month, after the Business Gateway Growth Hub took over the annual Leicestershire Innovation Awards.


The festival is an annual celebration of ideas and improvements for organisations of all sizes operating in Leicester and the wider county.


Led by the Business Gateway Growth Hub, the sixth annual festival had 22 events and launched at Space Park Leicester on Monday, February 5.


This year’s theme was ‘Small Change, Big Impact’, with a keynote speech delivered by Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair, Martin McTague OBE. 


Other highlights across the fortnight-long festival included: 
  • A visit from Health Minister, Andrew Stephenson CBE MP, to Charnwood Campus;

  • Hundreds of people attending the inaugural Leicester Music Conference;

  • The launch of VentureVersity - a joint programme from the county’s three universities for incubating innovative business ideas;

  • A special event, hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, at the National Space Centre to encourage innovators to enter the King’s Award;

  • A day-long interactive event at Hinckley-based Holovis International for college and school students to learn about developing innovative ideas into businesses.


Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Innovation Board, said: "The success of our festival once again this year directly reflects the distinctive ambition of our region as one of the most innovative in the UK.


“It has delivered such a valuable opportunity for business leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and community representatives to connect, engage and learn – and fast-track their own business innovation journeys. 


"Our festival has once again delivered real impact, as a catalyst for new ideas, even bolder ambitions and a renewed focus for accelerating business growth."


Phoebe Dawson, Chief Executive, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), said: "The theme for 2024 was ‘Small Change, Big Impact’ and it’s been inspiring to see the number of people engaging this year with events designed to get ideas off the ground.


"We’re now looking forward to celebrating those ideas and actions at the Innovation Awards at Sport Park next month."



For the first time in 2024, the Growth Hub will also lead the Leicestershire Innovation Awards.

The event will take place on March 20 at Sport Park 4 in Loughborough, with a pre-event also planned for the awards finalists.

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