After consulting with various official groups and Boards, Sedgemoor District Council, as the accountable body for Bridgwater Town Board, has agreed to submit a detailed business case for the Step-Up Bridgwater to Government and, if agreed, will see an exciting new £500,000 facility for businesses in Bridgwater Town Centre.
The proposal is to acquire the ownership of an office building on Angel Crescent and remodel the ground floor space to provide flexible co-worker space, with serviced office accommodation in the further two floors. Locating in Angel Crescent will also allow for management of the planned, “pop-up” units in Angel Place as part of the Town Deal support for Celebration Mile. It will mean that there will be an accessible and affordable business enterprise space in the heart of the town centre, which will provide flexibility in use of space with potential to test and pilot new business ideas.
The Step-Up project will combine flexible workspace and dedicated business suites for established enterprises. The facility will also deliver flexible “pop-up” space which utilises street-level retail space for temporary uses such as maker-labs and innovative “repair and recycle” events, responding to new consumer demands. Step-Up will also provide targeted business support and advice, including the provision of guidance on becoming “investor ready”.
With an eye to the future of local government across the county, Somerset County Council will acquire the freehold of the building and incorporate it into their county-wide network of business enterprise centres, with this being the first town centre facility in Somerset.
Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) will contribute a further £200,000 towards the capital fit-out work, IT installation and to underwrite the initial operating costs whilst occupancy levels increase.
Once submitted, the government have three months to review and approve the business case.