Plans have now been submitted to facilitate the creation of a second enterprise hub for small businesses, providing affordable serviced offices, collaboration space, hot desks and meeting rooms in the heart of Tamworth town centre.
If approved, the enterprise centre would be created in the mid-19th century section of the former Co-operative Society building in Colehill, converting the shop frontages and upper floors facing Colehill and Church Street.
This is separate to proposals to demolish the large 1960s part of the building facing St Editha’s Square, which is set to make way for a new South Staffordshire College. Plans for this element of the development are subject to a separate planning application.
The second flexible business hub would be operated by Tamworth Borough Council to complement the well-used and over-subscribed Tamworth Enterprise Centre at Philip Dix House in Corporation Street. Its 16 serviced offices have been constantly occupied, with a waiting list, since it was first opened in 2017.
The new facility will have a variety of offices, including larger spaces for businesses to grow into, as well as offices suitable for start-ups.
The plans have been drawn up and submitted by external planning consultants and any changes proposed are designed to retain, enhance and celebrate the building’s Victorian features.
Most of the work proposed is internal and does not require planning permission but there are some minor external alterations needed to improve the appearance and functionality of the building.
The planning application includes proposals such as installation of new glazing to part of the eastern and northern elevations, infilling of formal openings to the rear elevation and replacement windows and new lift enclosure and plant to the rear first floor flat roof.
Details in the planning application read: “The design aims to bring out the character of the locally listed building, maintaining its contribution to the town centre conservation area and the historic character of the area, while bringing it back into a viable use for the future as a key facility for the community that supports small businesses and enterprise.”
Most of the work will be internal to provide 10 to 15 hybrid office/business spaces that will operate in a flexible working format.
The plans can now be viewed on the Tamworth Borough Council website planning portal and are due to be decided by the Planning Committee at a forthcoming meeting, likely to be either in July or August.
This is the latest development in ongoing plans to transform the heart of Tamworth town centre, thanks to a £21.6m grant from the Government’s Future High Street Fund. Once combined with funding from other partners, including South Staffordshire College and Tamworth Borough Council, the overall regeneration represents a significant £40m investment in the town.
Full details of the projects involved are available on the Transforming Tamworth website.