Work begins on massive Weston business hub

PUBLISHED: 09:55 07 June 2013

Pollard director Mark Smith, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, Enterprise Agency chief executive Angela Hicks and chairman Charles Walker, Pollard managing director Bill Badham and AWW architect Ian Hunt break ground at The Hive.

Pollard director Mark Smith, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, Enterprise Agency chief executive Angela Hicks and chairman Charles Walker, Pollard managing director Bill Badham and AWW architect Ian Hunt break ground at The Hive.

Archant

WORK got under way this week on a landmark million-pound development which could revolutionise Weston's small business scene.

The Hive is the flagship project at Weston Park, which is being built on the former Weston Airfield.

Once complete, it will be run by the not-for-profit North Somerset Enterprise Agency, and be home to up to 60 tenant businesses.

A 50-week building project began this week, and agency chief executive Angela Hicks says the development could revolutionise independent industry in the area.

She said: “We have planned The Hive for a long time, so seeing work start on site is exciting both for us and for North Somerset’s start-up and growing businesses who will now begin to see this new hub for enterprise taking shape.

“With an ideal location, minutes from the M5 and its unique offering in this area, The Hive is already creating lots of interest and enquiries.

“Now, we look forward to working closely with our site team to bring the building to fruition.”

More than £1million has been pumped into the project by the European Regional Development Fund, along with money from the agency itself.

Bridgwater firm Pollard – familiar to Weston after building the For All Healthy Living Centre and carrying out several school builds – has now been charged with creating the three-storey, 20,000sq ft building.

Once complete, it will be dedicated to supporting the launch, development and success of local businesses, and provide them with an array of support, resources and services.

This will include affordable workspaces, a managed business reception, virtual offices and meeting rooms, plus free or low-cost onsite support, advice and training.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for economic development, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “I am delighted to see this project getting under way, not only because it is a timely initiative to help new businesses in North Somerset, but also because it marks the start of employment development on a third new site in Weston. It reinforces the message to employers that Weston is open for business.”

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