Green light for town centre creative hub

The development of a creative hub in Weston town centre has been given the go-ahead by North Somerset Council.

Creative entrepreneurs will be offered flexible work space and the support they need to launch and develop their businesses, alongside other facilities which could include studios, a café, meeting rooms and a gallery space.

Creative hubs have sprung up in towns and cities across the country and can inject new life into an area, particularly when developed in underused buildings. Providing a space for creative micro businesses to collaborate helps them grow and attract investment. As well as the economic benefits of supporting start-ups, the hub will also showcase Weston’s creative sector and generate new interest in the town.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader with responsibility for strategic planning, highways and transport, economic development and housing, said: “The proposal to develop a creative hub in Weston town centre is part of a broader programme to regenerate the town which officers have been working on for some time.

“We have seen examples from elsewhere of how the creative sector can be a catalyst for injecting new life into town centres. We are also keen to support local entrepreneurship and recognise the contribution the creative sector can make to local economic growth.”

Council officers are now working with the community to develop a hub which is unique to Weston and has launched an online survey which invites people to submit their views on what the facility should offer. Work is also under way to identify a suitable building in Weston town centre where the hub could be developed, with a view to it opening in late summer.

The creative hub will bring a new cultural dimension to the town centre, nurturing the creative talent already in the town and attracting new residents and businesses to relocate there. This supports the council’s bold ambition for Weston-super-Mare which focuses on increasing the number of people living in good quality housing, boosting the demand for shops and services, as well as expanding the town’s learning and leisure opportunities to create a more prosperous and vibrant town centre.

The creative hub consultation is open until 26 February.