Small and start-up businesses urged to find out more about new enterprise centre in iconic county building
The Shire Hall Business Centre in Stafford, part paid for by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP from the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund, will be opened by Staffordshire County Council this summer.
Located in the area at the rear of the building which used to accommodate the town’s main library, flexible tenancies will be available to support small and start-up businesses.
Work on the £2million project is continuing at pace as the building is fitted out, ready for 21 businesses to occupy the units. Like the county council’s other enterprise centres, it will offer office space, reception facilities, meeting areas, networking opportunities and business advice and support.
The units will range from 97 sqft to 323 sqft and there will be flexible working options including hot-desking and the option to rent a PO Box. The centre management will be based in the building and there will also be out-of-hours security patrols. It offers an ideal town centre location, close to amenities like the railway station.
Shire Hall’s management team is particularly keen to attract digital companies and those who work in the sector of professional services.
Any businesses wanting to find out more about unit costs and availability, or that want to book a viewing, should contact Susan Semple, centre administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01785 226415.
A total of £1.6million was allocated to the project from the national Getting Building Fund through the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Both the county council and Stafford Borough Council have also invested in the centre.
Bringing part of the Shire Hall back into productive use will help revitalise Stafford town centre by bringing in new businesses.
This project will form part of the wider long-term regeneration of the Shire Hall. It will also complement plans to repurpose and redevelop land occupied by vacant buildings – including the former magistrates court and county council’s own Wedgwood Building – off Eastgate Street.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, Philip White, said:
“The fit-out of the business centre is progressing well ready for opening in the summer. Interested businesses can now get in touch with the centre management team to find our more and book a viewing. I’m sure they’ll be impressed with the facilities, the setting of the building and its location.
The Shire Hall is an iconic landmark in the heart of Stafford town centre and we’re pleased to have brought it back into productive use for the community.
Much consideration has gone into the planning of the hall’s future use and our evidence and research has shown there is a need for provision in the town for small businesses. The business centre is in the former library area to the rear of the building and includes all the facilities our target businesses will need. It follows the model of our other enterprise centres with flexible tenancies and a support team on site.
A thriving enterprise hub in the Shire Hall will benefit the wider town centre economy and recent investment and planned regeneration undoubtedly make Stafford an attractive place to work and live.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Alun Rogers said:
“The former library space in the Shire Hall provides an ideal space for small businesses and support the town centre economy, particularly as it recovers from the pandemic period. It is a priority to the LEP to support small businesses and ensure they can operate in the right environment to enable them to thrive.
The Getting Building Fund is aimed at projects which are ready to go and can make a difference as soon as possible. Transforming the vacant space at the Shire Hall in to an entrepreneurial and collaboration hub is ideal and we look forward to working with our partners to bring it to life.”
Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning at Stafford Borough Council, said:
“We’re pleased to see the renovation of the Shire Hall progressing well and ready for the summer opening. This will be a centrepiece for the renaissance of popular community events and gatherings in the Market Square and indeed across the town.
The Shire Hall forms an integral part of the wider work that the borough council is leading on – including the Station Gateway and regeneration of the town centre.”