There are a number of properties managed or developed by the Councils to help businesses grow. Typically the centres offer
- flexible easy tenures
- competitive rates
- business support services
- networking opportunities
- additional facilities such as car-parking and meeting rooms
An extensive business event programme is delivered from many centres, attracting the wider business community, exposing centre members to new business networks, contacts and trading opportunities. Centres benefit from fibre optic broadband and units vary in size in order to accommodate start up, early stage growth and more established businesses.
Units are suitable for a range of commercial operations including manufacturing, assembly, wholesale, Research & Development, distribution and business and consumer service delivery.
The County Council owns five enterprise centres spread across the county at:
- Minehead (West Somerset)
- Frome (Mendip)
- Highbridge (Sedgemoor)
- Dulverton (West Somerset)
- Wheddon Cross (West Somerset).
An extension to the Highbridge Centre and new Centres for Wells and Wiveliscombe are also in the pipeline. By 2018 there will be a good strong fleet of Centres to assist right across the County. Managed for the County by its contractor TDA, these Somerset Enterprise Centres provide modern light industrial and fully serviced office units together with a free tailored business support service providing new and growing businesses in Somerset a full support package. Somerset Enterprise Centres are part of the South West Business Centres network. For further details, please see the dedicated website or contact 0300 123 1876, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taunton's Exchange House is a slightly different offer in the middle of the County town where serviced offices are combined with a cafe area, boardroom facilities and training rooms.
The County Council also owns the new prestigious Somerset Energy Innovation Centre located at Bridgwater. The first phase of this brand new Centre opened in Winter 2015/16 and supports the establishment and growth of the low carbon supply chain cluster in Somerset and the South West. It is ideally placed for businesses looking to locate close to the new nuclear power station development at Hinkley Point C; or for those looking to develop other low carbon energy solutions such as wind or wave power. Please contact the Council’s managing agents for details of available space and support services.
South Somerset District Council, together with other partners, manages the Yeovil Innovation Centre, and that can provide a great landing point for those looking to grow their knowledge based business or looking to develop collaboration within the aerospace and advanced engineering sectors. The Centre has a wide range of businesses that have benefitted from being co-located in the same building, and are also 'plugged into' the wider Yeovil business network. In December 2016, 'The Hive Yeovil' was launched as a bespoke landing office for new start-ups in Yeovil. Further workhubs may follow in 2017.
There are also a small number of 'Work hubs' or flexible workspaces around the County operated by different agencies that offer hot-desk facilities but also have small office pods or rooms for rent with linked meeting spaces and other facilities. These are very popular with small businesses looking to re-locate to the County or to open up a local sub-office, and can give the business a presence in the County whilst they grow. Work hubs can be found in the following locations:
- Frome, at the Old Church School, operated by Forward Space
- Langport, at Great Bow Wharf operated by the Trust
- Wells, at the Mendip Hub
From time to time other options for workhubs or flexible space open up. Contact one of the Districts to enquire if there are any others now available. A new Hub is due to open in Chard (spring 2017) and in Taunton (at The Collar Factory, due to open later in 2017 or early 2018).