Cheshire East Council is advancing plans to create a ‘technology and digital innovation campus’ in Crewe town centre which would support new and early-stage businesses to grow.
The creation of a technology and digital innovation campus (TADIC) is one of 10 projects being supported following the council’s successful £14.1m bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund.
The project aims to provide around 20,000sqft of new high-quality, flexible co-working space for start-up and growing businesses – especially in the fast-growing digital and creative sectors – which would promote innovation and help them to connect and collaborate.
It is planned for the ‘extension’ part of the council’s Municipal Buildings and will see the current office space refurbished and remodelled, with hot-desking and networking areas, new office space to accommodate different sized businesses, and meeting spaces all planned to be delivered.
The campus would be operated by a specialist workspace operator who will manage the space and the services it offers, including tailored business support.
A report on TADIC was presented to the council’s economy and growth committee earlier today (14 March) where members agreed to recommendations that will allow the project to move to the next stages.
The project does not affect the historical and public-facing part of the Municipal Buildings, which will be retained for civic use, and means there will be no impact on activities carried out from that building, including weddings, civil ceremonies, and other registration services.
Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “This project would bring new types of businesses to an area of the town centre that is already being regenerated, and we know that there is evidence to suggest there is an increasing demand for this type of office space in Crewe.
“As well as supporting the businesses to grow, TADIC would also create good quality employment and support local retail and hospitality businesses by bringing more people into the town centre.
“Alongside the successful Market Hall, the Ly2 scheme – which once completed will see Lyceum Square transformed into an exciting events and performance space – and the planned history centre to co-host the region’s archives, TADIC would help to deliver a real sense of vibrancy in the town centre.”
The council has been awarded funding for the project through the government’s Future High Streets Fund, and the budget for the works to deliver TADIC are within the capital programme in the council’s four-year financial plan, which was approved at full council in February.
In addition to the campus, the project also focuses on improving the heritage assets within the civic quarter of Crewe town centre and works to the remaining structure of Christ Church have begun by removing vegetation before repairs are then made to the tower and walls.
Cllr Mannion added: “I am very pleased that as part of the TADIC project, repairs to Christ Church will be carried out and will help to protect this heritage asset and enable potential future uses of the site, which is great news for the local community.”