SOME 150 businesses will be supported at any time by a new commercial centre in Bognor Regis.
The town’s creative digital hub is set to open later this year in two former waiting rooms at the railway station.
The spaces at the Grade-II listed Edwardian building are being transformed into shared flexible workspaces where emerging creative and digital businesses can thrive.
It will provide a creative place totalling 360sq m where start-ups and freelances can work side-by-side, share facilities, network with each other and have access to training and support.
Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb was invited to visit the site by West Sussex County Council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith, to look at plans for the design of the hub’s interior. He said he was hugely supportive of the project.
“The hub will be a brilliant boost for Bognor Regis, giving small business and self-employed people a space to work together, hold meetings and bring together the business community in the area,” he said.
Cllr Goldsmith said: “It’s so important that the key people got together at this crucial stage in the project.
“We had a really lively discussion about the positive impact the hub will have on Bognor Regis and the local economy, and it was fantastic to see the plans for the interior coming to life.”
The hub’s creation is being led by the county council, which has appointed Hemingway Design for the interior and Town Square Spaces, jointly owned by Gareth Jones, as its operator.
Mr Gibb has also given his backing to the latest summer reading campaign based on the Beano comic.
The Mischief Makers challenge celebrates the 80th anniversary of the comic.
Children who go to Bognor Regis and Willowhale libraries from July 14 will be given a colourful collector’s map of Beanotown to keep a record of their reading journey.
They will collect stickers as they get through at least six library books over the summer to help famous characters Dennis, Gnasher and friends find the buried treasure.
Mr Gibb said the challenge was free, inclusive and made reading fun.
“Last year, 15,214 children took part. I hope we can increase that number this year and remind local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community,” he said.