Construction of a £11m Digital Innovation Centre in Somerset, UK, has now commenced.
Located at the Firepool site in the town of Taunton, the 2,613 sq.metre four-storey building will feature an office, workshop, collaboration and meeting space, as well as innovation support services targeted at digital economy businesses.
It aims to meet the demand for growth in the local digital economy and will provide high-quality managed offices for home-grown start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises.
The project also looks to attract new businesses and investment to create new opportunities in the town.
The scheme is funded by the county, the government’s Getting Building Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, with further contributions from Somerset’s Business Rates Retention Fund and Somerset West and Taunton Council.
Cllr David Hall, responsible for economic development, planning and community infrastructure at County Hall, said: “I’m delighted to join our partners in marking such an important milestone as we move forward with the Digital Innovation Centre.
“This scheme will help meet the demand for top-quality business accommodation for digital businesses in Somerset. It will see a number of highly-skilled jobs created and contribute to improving economic productivity and prosperity in Somerset.”
Karl Tucker, chairman of Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s great to see work starting on the Digital Innovation Centre on the Firepool site, which will provide fantastic high-grade workspace for local tech-based businesses and dedicated innovation support to help them grow.
“We’re delighted to have been able to support this project from the HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund.”
Cllr Marcus Kravis, executive member for economic development at SWT, said: “We’ve been working with Somerset County Council to secure delivery of the Digital Innovation Centre on our flagship Firepool site, allowing it to be delivered concurrently with the infrastructure, residential, commercial and leisure elements which will form part of our detailed plans.
“Next year will see some major activity on site as we start to deliver several simultaneous projects at Firepool.
“We have also been working closely with Digital Somerset and other stakeholders to maximise the potential of this high-quality office and collaboration space to create jobs locally, and attract growth and investment.”
Image: Cllr Marcus Kravis (Executive, Member for Economic Development at SWT), Cllr David Fothergill (Leader Somerset County Council), Pat Flaherty (Chief Executive, Somerset County Council), Cllr David Hall (Somerset County Council Cabinet member). (Credit: Somerset County Gazette)
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