Proposals for a creative digital hub in Bognor Regis have taken a major step forward.
The lease for the spaces at the Grade II-listed town’s railway station, which will become The Track, has been signed.
The hub will offer a shared and collaborative equipment workspace, events space, meeting rooms and ultrafast fibre connection for creative and digital businesses in the area.
The lease for the spaces – unused Victorian waiting rooms -was signed between West Sussex County Council, train operator Govia Thameslink Railways and Network Rail.
The county council is delivering the £1m-plus project with the support of the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership local growth fund in line with its main priorities of driving economic growth and creating local jobs.
Cllr Louise Goldsmith, the county council’s leader, said:
“The signing of the lease is another huge step forward for the Bognor Regis creative digital hub project.
“Ultimately, the aim of The Track is make sure that flourishing creative and digital businesses in the local area have a multi-purpose space that they can use to get their businesses up and running, or grow their businesses further.
“It will also be a great space to skill share with like-minded individuals.
“It has been in the planning stages for a long time and to hear that work will begin shortly is very exciting.”
Work to build The Track will begin this month. Its completion is planned for next March.
Experienced workspace manager Town Square Spaces Ltd has been appointed to manage the space.
Its employees will shortly start to meet businesses in the area to raise awareness of the facilities which The Track will offer.
The Track has been designed by internationally renowned designer, and West Sussex resident Wayne Hemingway, and his team at Hemingway Design.
At an event last December, Town Square Spaces’ joint founders, Gareth Jones and Mandy Weston, gave a presentation about the project to interested business owners and freelance workers.
The scheme was generally welcomed by the some 30 people present.
Mr Jones said at the time:
“There will be workspaces for 40-50 people. But it won’t be the kind of place where people are there every day, Monday to Friday.
“We expect they might only work there two days a week to mean there will be a community of 100-200 based at The Track.
“It’s not about seeking to get full straight away. It’s really important our first 10 members know what they are signed up to.
“They need to be people who are going to live that culture. It’s much better to grow sustainably then trying to get everyone in.”