A MULTI-MILLION pound business centre that is seen as crucial to Hucknall town centre’s regeneration is making progress with developers confident that it will open its doors in the summer.
The eyesore former Beardall Street Secondary School, which runs between Vine Terrace and Duke Street, is now being transformed into offices which could house up to 16 firms.
Funding for the £1.3 million pound venture has been secured through the European Regional Development Fund, Ashfield Partnership and the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, so local taxpayers are not having to contribute.
This week, the Dispatch was given a tour of the much-anticipated new business centre as it continues to take shape with Hucknall’s town-centre manager, Mark Armstrong, who said he was excited that the project was nearing completion.
“It is bringing life back into a derelict old building after all these years of neglect and will encourage businesses into the area,” he said.
“A lot of small businesses are normally above shops on the High Street, which is not ideal, but this way, we can have up to 16 businesses together, which is a very positive thing for the community.
“The site also has excellent transport links with bus stops, main roads and the train station all nearby and with Hucknall being right between two M1 junctions, we are incredibly well connected.”
The new venue will be called the Byron Business Centre and it is hoped that it will meet the growing demands of budding entrepreneurs and businesses wanting to establish themselves in the Hucknall area.
Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, said the centre would create fantastic opportunities for people in Hucknall and further afield.
“After so many years of neglect it is wonderful that life is being put back into such a historic building,” he said.
“This will provide opportunities for small businesses and start-up businesses, as well as providing help for people who may be unemployed or those who have been made redundant recently.
“It is nice that things are happening in the town centre, Hucknall has experienced some difficult times in recent years like many towns in Britain but Hucknall is transforming itself through the regeneration of the High Street, the town centre and the surrounding infrastructure.
“We have already obtained millions of pounds of funding in recent years and will continue to do so for future projects.”
Coun Wilmott praised town centre boss Mark Armstrong for overseeing the project and the refurbishment work already undertaken by developers GF Tomlinson Building Limited.
GF Tomlinson’s chairman, Barry Stewards, said: “It is a great opportunity to be able to create an environment where we hope that local businesses and start-ups will be able to springboard to their future success and the creation of employment during these turbulent times.”