Plans to transform an unoccupied building in Kendal into an enterprise centre for start up businesses, have been revealed by Invest in South Lakeland.
The vacant site at 124 Highgate, in the town’s city centre will be fully renovated and will include plenty of office space as well as training facilities, meeting areas, break-out zones and multi-use, flexible rooms.
The refurbishment of the building, which was previously used by the Connexions careers service will begin this August and is due to be finished before the end of the year.
Invest in South Lakeland is already in discussion with numerous possible tenants as well as business advisors and training organisations who have expressed an interest in using the facilities.
Joanne Golton, who leads the Invest in South Lakeland programme, said: “The Kendal Enterprise Centre project will bring back into use a prominent building on Kendal’s high street which has been vacant for many years and create a dynamic and contemporary business hub in the heart of the town centre.
“Our plans are a direct response to the increasing need for more high quality and flexible business accommodation within Kendal.
“Many micro-businesses and startups tell us they struggle to find appropriate office space in a central location, which is directly impacting on their potential for expansion.”
The 124 Highgate renovation demonstrates the need to increase the amount of office space available to small businesses in South Cumbria.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, innovation and improvement portfolio holder for South Lakeland District Council, which funds Invest in South Lakeland, said: “There are currently a number of high quality and modern office spaces within Kendal town centre, such as Pixel Mill and Bridge Mills, together with ‘The Factory’, but these are all full.
“The popularity of these sites, together with our own research, clearly demonstrates the need to develop more flexible and collaborative workspaces across South Lakeland to ensure we attract and retain those dynamic and innovative businesses which could otherwise go elsewhere.”
Councillor Giles Archibald, town centres and small businesses portfolio holder for South Lakeland District Council said: “The Council’s investment reflects our commitment to creating the right conditions for business growth.
“Kendal clearly needs more quality office space to ensure it continues to enjoy high levels of entrepreneurship and commercial success.
“I’m confident that 124 Highgate will be a great success once it opens its doors later this year, and it will be a welcome addition to an already thriving Kendal town centre.”
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