A STATE-OF-THE ART business centre has officially opened in Stratford.
Stratford District Council secured £450,000 from central government in 2014 to set up the centre, which is designed to help businesses with growth, innovation, and training.
Pupils from KES sixth form were then invited to create a logo, and following on from the competition, it was decided the building – formerly known as Progress House – would be re-branded Venture House.
And the council-owned building, on Avenue Farm Industrial Estate off Birmingham Road, has since been transformed using the cash – part of a £88million windfall received by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership.
Although the business centre has been up and running since March, it was officially launched at a special event on Monday (July 4) attended by dignitaries, people who helped make the project possible and representatives from the business community.
The centre, which is managed by the council, offers 2,500 square feet of business space over two floors with facilities including superfast broadband, Wi-Fi, free business support, on-site parking and chill-out zones.
Individuals and businesses can hot desk – paying up to £15 per day to use shared work space – book meeting rooms, or rent out office space for anything from two to six people.
The centre is aimed at new and existing SMEs, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses who want to make the first transition into a commercial environment without the risk of taking on a lengthy lease.
Council chiefs say new businesses will be able to work closely with existing businesses and networks while it is also envisaged the building will help provide a permanent base to accommodate conferences and meetings.
Long-term, it is hoped the centre will act as a blueprint for other similar facilities in the district – particularly in areas such as Southam and Studley – where higher levels of deprivation have been identified.
The council say the centre will also seek to reduce youth unemployment through links to local colleges and universities with plans already in place to take on an intern to support the centre’s management team.
Enterprise spokesman, Coun Dave Riches, said: “We are very proud of our new business centre and we look forward to welcoming businesses to this facility.
“Venture House provides a great platform and we would encourage new and existing businesses as well as home-based businesses to seize the opportunity to work in a friendly, community environment.”
Business, enterprise and tourism manager, Nancy Singleton, added: “Stratford district has suffered from a lack of start-up activity and we were keen to address this.
“We want to help people on their journey and our ambition is that Venture House will provide a business environment for entrepreneurs as well as new and fledgling businesses.
“A key council priority is to support jobs, growth and economic prosperity across the district and in the future, we want Venture House to be the centre that inspires and helps to facilitate this.”
Email [email protected] visit www.venturehousestratford.co.uk or call 01789 207500 for further information.