New business centre to be Hive of activity

PUBLISHED: 14:00 28 October 2010

Angela Hicks (Chief Executive, North Somerset Enterprise Agency), Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, Charles Walker (Chairman, North Somerset Enterprise Agency) and Ian Hunt (AWW Architects)

Angela Hicks (Chief Executive, North Somerset Enterprise Agency), Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, Charles Walker (Chairman, North Somerset Enterprise Agency) and Ian Hunt (AWW Architects)

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A NEW business development centre is set to create a buzz in Weston after being approved by North Somerset Council.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, Angela Hicks (Chief Executive, North Somerset Enterprise Agency), Charles Walker (Chairman, North Somerset Enterprise Agency) and Ian Hunt (AWW Architects)

The Hive is to be built on Weston Park, the site of the former Weston Airfield, by 
the North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA).

The centre will help small businesses to start up and grow by offering office space and a range of business support services such as advice, training and networking.

After drawing up an economic assessment and surveying local businesses to assess demand, the NSEA drew up plans for the energy-efficient, three-story building.

Ultimately, the development could offer 20,000sq ft of office space and facilities, with 60 per cent of it planned for completion in 2012.

It will also incorporate energy-saving measures such as natural ventilation and lighting, photovoltaic cells and solar panels on the roof, while avoiding air conditioning.

The council’s deputy leader and executive member for strategic planning and economic development, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Some 90 per cent of businesses in North Somerset are small or medium-sized enterprises yet there has long been a lack of availability of modern, small workspace in North Somerset, especially in Weston, where high quality office space is especially limited.

“This building will fill that need and will provide facilities which will facilitate and generate economic growth and employment in North Somerset.”

North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s chief executive, Angela Hicks, added: “We are delighted that North Somerset Council has approved plans to bring a much-needed enterprise hub to North Somerset, where start-up and growing businesses can access all the facilities, advice and support they need to grow, literally on their doorstep.

“Our role is to stimulate, encourage and support local enterprise and, as a result, contribute to a healthy local economy.

“Managed workspace like The Hive is a proven strategic tool for supporting 
economic diversity and providing positive conditions for growth and employment.”

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