Somerset business hub will help to boost employment
A new business hub in Chard is set to be given a boost by councillors. The £227,200 hub will be located at the Holyrood Lace Mill and will help to provide extra office space for businesses and more employment opportunities in the area.
The project aims to provide support for 12 start-up companies in the area and help the development of 30 other businesses. The hub is expected to create 15 new jobs.
A meeting is set to be held by South Somerset District Council’s Area West Committee this week to discuss the progression of the project.
Area West Committee Neighbourhood Development Officer Dylan Martlew said that a business hub was needed in the area and that this has been recognised by the Chard Regeneration Scheme.
He went on to discuss problems such as a shortage of office space and market failure in the area.
“As rental values are low, developers do not have the confidence to invest and build new premises because returns are likely to be low and there is little evidence of demand,” he said.
“Chard is dependent on three large businesses which provide around 40 per cent of the employment.”
He added that whilst this is positive, it would be good to “diversify and expand the employment base” and that a new business hub will help to do this.
Martlew went on to discuss the benefits that the hub will provide, stating that it will create new opportunities in Chard, which has a reputation as having low aspiration, low pay and few opportunities for career advancement.
He added that it will help to support people with aspirations, and that “a hub with strength in digital services would support Chard to adopt modern promotional and marketing techniques.”