Radical new building would house business centre for Cheltenham
By Andrew Merrell | 14th June 2019
Plans for an innovative new building in the middle of Cheltenham, made from shipping containers, would be the home of a new business centre.
A company called WorkShop Cheltenham has filed detailed plans for the structure, drawn up by town architects Edge Design Workshop, which would house business offices, event space and even a café.
At its core would be the latest in the growing chain of business support centres called Growth Hub's, supported by Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and aimed at helping drive the county's economic success.
The likes of Cheltenham Civic Society and the town's BID (Business Improvement District) have all welcomed the proposed development, which would sit in the shadow of the historic and listed St Mary's Church (Cheltenham Minister).
"The proposals will quite clearly support an economic objective in this case, not only through providing additional employment space within the town centre but, critically, diversifying the stock of office accommodation and linking this far better with educational facilities to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
"This in turn, given the development's flexibility, will improve the town's resilience to changing economic circumstances.
"The capacity to host regular events will also provide an important source of income, both by generating additional employment and through a host of indirect beneficiaries in the retail, food and drink, cultural and accommodation sectors already resident in the town," said a report from Evans Jones filed as part of the planning application, signed by senior planning consultant Chris Marsh.
The building would be at the back of what is currently the children's library, off Chester Walk
Kevan Blackadder, from Cheltenham BID, said: "WorkShop's presence will also be a major positive for the immediate local area. This project would bring a new vitality to the area."
It is suggested the centre would create six jobs and of its 1,256 square metres of space some 1,003 square metres would be for office and 96 of it for a restaurant and café.
Cheltenham Civic Society said: "This is the type of innovative development we welcome in the town centre, and we hope this will be the catalyst for further improvements to the Minster curtilage. We particularly favour the entrance to the church yard.
"The forum particularly welcome the proposed use of solar power and battery storage, and hope this will be an exemplar for future planning applications."
Punchline contacted the Growth Hub.
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