Multi-million pound business hub proposed for Blackpool town centre
Town hall chiefs predict demand will be high for space in a £6.3m new business centre being proposed for Blackpool.
The Edge will see the transformation of the council-owned Stanley Buildings in Caunce Street into an entrepreneurial hub.
It is being funded through £4.5m of government funding from Blackpool’s Town Deal and match funding of £1.8m.
Work is currently underway to develop the scheme in order to secure final approval from the MHCLG (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) in November.
A meeting of the council’s audit committee heard occupancy levels within the council’s two existing business centres – the Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road in South Shore, and FY Creatives on Church Street – currently exceeded 90 per cent.
This suggested demand was high for managed work space in the town.
David Slater business growth manager at the council, said there was now a more unified approach to supporting businesses with different departments such as licensing working more closely together.
He told the meeting: “If we are going to get The Edge, this fantastic new facility for small businesses in the town centre, we have to support it in the right ways.
“So it is right we focus the team on making that the best we can for Blackpool.”
He said work was underway to identify growing sectors in Blackpool to encourage start-ups which would then expand and employ more people, but it was also important to support self-employed workers.
Mr Slater added the informal economy would also be considered as part of the business case for The Edge.
He said: “We have to strike a balance between supporting businesses that will grow and employ more people, and we have always supported those people who want to be self-employed.
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