Poet’s descendant opens the Byron Business Centre

WHAT'S IN A NAME? The current Lord Byron at the opening of the new centre, he is joined by (from left) Coun John Wilmott,  deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, Coun Ken Knight, chairman of Ashfield Council, Coun John Knight, leader of Ashfield Council and Hucknall's MP, Mark Spencer
WHAT'S IN A NAME? The current Lord Byron at the opening of the new centre, he is joined by (from left) Coun John Wilmott, deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, Coun Ken Knight, chairman of Ashfield Council, Coun John Knight, leader of Ashfield Council and Hucknall's MP, Mark Spencer

HUCKNALL’S stunning new £1.2 million Byron Business Centre has been officially opened — and it is already attracting much interest from potential tenants.

The opening ceremony was performed by the present Lord Byron — a direct descendant of the world-famous poet, who is buried at Hucknall Parish Church.

An ambitious restoration by Ashfield District Council has transformed a derelict and pigeon-infested former school off Vine Terrace into the eye-catching two-storey centre, which has 16 office units.

These range from one-person accommodation to space suitable for small teams. The European Regional Development Fund awarded £918,515 for the scheme and the Local Enterprise Organisation contributed £250,000.

The council is confident that the office space will be in demand both from companies wanting a business within the town centre and firms wishing to be strategically based for business in Nottingham — but not wanting to incur the costs associated with a city-centre location.

A council spokesman said: “The highly competitive rates we are offering will be a key attraction for businesses in these difficult times.”

Other features include a meeting room for use by tenants, a kitchen and toilets on both floors, a disabled toilet and shower and a 16-space car park.

The centre has access to high-speed broadband while energy-efficient features include air-controlled lighting and solar panels.

Ashfield Council deputy leader Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, said: “The centre should make a real contribution to regeneration of the town centre.”

Council leader Coun John Knight (Lab) claimed that the centre would do much to avoid Hucknall being regarded as a ‘dormitory’ town for Nottingham.

Lord Byron, who lives near Southampton, said he was delighted to visit Hucknall for the occasion. He added: “I hope the centre prospers under the Byron name and proves a great asset for Hucknall.”