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.”