Weston-super-Mare’s creative hub plan boosted by £460k West of England LEP grant

The Badger Centre, in Wadham Street, will soon be home to Weston-super-Mare's new creative hub.

The Badger Centre, in Wadham Street, will soon be home to Weston-super-Mare's new creative hub. - Credit: Archant

Weston’s new creative hub is expected to be up and running by next spring, after more than £450,000 in funding for the project was secured.

North Somerset Council has revealed this week that it has successfully applied for a £460,000 grant from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to put towards the development of the hub.

The project, which will be based in the Badger Centre, in Wadham Street, will offer facilities, services and support to enable entrepreneurs in the digital and creative sectors to set up their own businesses.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said he was delighted at the pledge of a grant, and added: “This welcome investment is another positive step forward in the broader town centre regeneration programme.

“We are keen to support local entrepreneurship and recognise the contribution the creative sector can make to local economic growth.

“The creative hub will bring a new cultural dimension to the town centre, nurturing the creative talent already in the town and attracting new residents and businesses to relocate here.”

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The council will now begin the process of purchasing the Badger Centre and refurbishment works will also get under way soon.

The authority hopes to have the first phase of the hub up and running by spring 2017, while a separate community interest company and board will be established to develop and manage the hub as a not-for-profit social enterprise.

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A council spokesman said: “Space will be let to micro and start-up businesses on very flexible and low-risk terms, plus support and mentoring will be provided to users of the hub to encourage the success of their businesses.

“Jobs, including apprenticeships, will be generated as the businesses grow and move on from the hub.”

The council also confirmed the building’s popular Heritage Café will remain at the Badger Centre once the hub is open, while the Citizens’ Advice Bureau will also stay put until its lease expires in spring 2018.

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