Four new work hubs are being established across Devon with new funding announced for Devon County Council’s award-winning scheme.
The County Council has successfully bid for £640,000 from the Heart of the South West LEP to provide new workspace in some of the local economies hardest hit during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
New work hubs will be created in Great Torrington, Newton Abbot, and Teignmouth, while the existing hub in Tavistock will also be expanded.
The expansion of the work hub network will provide an additional 570 square metres of co-working and office space in the county.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “Our network of work hubs is already extremely successful in providing start-up firms and small businesses with a location to be able to put down roots and grow, and we’re pleased to receive this vital support from the LEP’s Getting Building Fund to help expand this network. Devon’s work hubs can play an important role in supporting local communities and stimulating the local economy as we look towards a strong recovery from the pandemic.”
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund aims to support shovel-ready projects that will help to create new jobs and contribute to our area’s post-COVID recovery. We are pleased to have agreed £640k from the fund to support the Devon Work Hubs project. These work hubs provide valuable and flexible space that is ideal for small businesses, helping give them the right environment and facilities in which to build and grow.”
Councillor Phil Bullivant, County Councillor for Newton Abbot North, said: “It’s vital that we rebuild our local economy. This investment in our area is an important first step and will help small and embryo businesses develop and grow. Having flexible and versatile spaces available as needed is an important stepping stone to future growth and the creation of local jobs.”
Councillor Debo Sellis, County Councillor for Tavistock, said: “I’m pleased that the Tavistock Enterprise Hub is expanding into the adjacent disused building. I have actively supported over many years for this area to be used for the betterment of our town centre, and residents will be delighted to see the building being used, particularly as it will be helping local, small businesses.”
Councillor David Cox, County Councillor for Teignmouth, said: “The work hub is a very welcome resource for Teignmouth, I’m delighted it fits in with the town council’s priorities for the town. I’m very pleased the currently underused Library ground floor will get a really useful purpose.”
Councillor Andrew Saywell, Devon County Councillor for Torrington Rural, said: “I am delighted we have secured funding for a new work hub at Great Torrington. It is great that we are now seeing these Hubs becoming available in more rural market towns like Torrington and these facilities will help a great deal in rebuilding our local economy as we recover from the pandemic. With more people working from home likely even after normality returns, these facilities will be an asset to local businesses, workers and entrepreneurs and will help to attract high quality jobs and businesses to our rural areas.”
Work hubs provide flexible-term, value for money office space, equipped with modern facilities. They are ideal for small businesses that may have started from home but are looking to grow into larger accommodation.
The Devon Work Hubs project received the Federation of Small Businesses award for ‘Best provision of small business offices for upscale and growing businesses’ in 2018.