The Unlocking Growth Fund is designed to fund projects that develop employment and workspace sites and/or premises to support and foster business growth. Several projects are currently in the pipeline with businesses cases being examined and awaiting funding agreements and final allocations.

Growth Deal 2 funding for all projects: £4.9m

Projects that have confirmed funding agreements so far are:

YGD34A – Yeovil Innovation Centre

Yeovil Innovation Centre Phase 2 (YIC2) will extend and improve the original, successful Yeovil Innovation Centre (YIC) that opened in Yeovil in 2008. YIC2 will be an extension to the existing YIC building. This will effectively be a new ‘wing’ of the building comprising 1,000 sq. m. of floorspace divided into variously sized starter units. It will be a two storey extension on a 500 sq. m. footprint and will effectively add around 70% of extra start-up space at YIC for new businesses breaking into the aerospace and high-tech sectors. YIC2 will build on the experiences and lessons already learned at YIC, offering more small units particularly suited to the smaller, one and two person enterprises that quickly took up the smaller offices in the initial project.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.442m

GD34B – Highbridge Enterprise Centre Phase 2

HEC Phase 2 is building on Phase 1 which opened in March 2015, by adding 220m2 of light industrial workspace to the existing 300m2 of office space and a flexible work hub. The site is located approximately 8 miles north of Bridgwater and situated just off Junction 22 of the M5 and within close proximity to Highbridge & Burnham-on-Sea railway station. The new enterprise space will be sited adjacent to the existing HEC building. Phase 1 will act as a catalyst for Phase 2 by building upon the existing culture of collaboration and growth seen in the managed environment of Phase 1. Businesses will have the same access to superfast broadband; free business advice; access to a networking lounge; video conferencing facilities; printing facilities and meeting rooms. They will also be included in the existing programme of monthly events where networking and inter-trading opportunities are facilitated. Phase 2 will benefit from management by the existing HEC Centre Manager.

Phase 2 also has the potential to provide grow on space for businesses that are coming through the phase one pipeline and are looking to expand.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.238m

GD34C – Wiveliscombe Enterprise Centre

The aim of the Wiveliscombe Enterprise Centre is to promote sustainable economic growth in the Wiveliscombe area by provision of a high quality local Enterprise Centre which will;

  1. Create an enterprise hub in Wiveliscombe to meet demand for high-quality space in the Western Somerset area where there is existing market failure.
  2. Create a rural hub to maximise sustainable local growth to facilitate the growth of a balanced and sustainable community.
  3. Deploy Somerset’s existing and sustainable Enterprise Centre model as developed during the LEP’s RGN programme which includes ongoing business support funded by rents.
  4. The Enterprise Centre network successfully integrates a number of hubs across Somerset promoting a critical mass of economically active businesses and fostering networking, collaboration and innovation across the wider area.
  5. Overcome local growth barriers to productivity and employment particularly lack of quality, easy-access start up facilities.
  6. Focus on supporting development of businesses with high growth potential.
  7. Focus on Agri-Food sector to support strategic aims of the local LEADER project and play to strengths and needs of local economy which has high number of businesses (e.g. Exmoor and Cotleigh Breweries) and jobs within the sector.
  8. Regenerate and rebalance the local economy following the loss of a key local employer and 113 jobs in the last financial year.
  9. In the wider context SCC is acquiring the former Karro site. This will unlock existing employment land within the town. The development of the Wiveliscombe Enterprise Centre will also act as a catalyst for economic regeneration from this existing brownfield site.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.510m

GD34D – Devonport Market Hall

This project will create 3,000 square foot of bespoke, quality office, and co-working space for a range of digital technology companies, with a particular focus on immersive, VR and AR technologies, creating a much-needed cluster to enable the area to retain talent and grow it’s capacity to support cutting edge digital companies to flourish in Plymouth.

This application will support the development of workspace within the Market Hall, a new kind of immersive digital hub. Situated in Devonport, Plymouth’s transformational docklands, the Market Hall will be an iconic, 21st Century, world class centre for digital arts and technology research enterprise, education and engagement. Drawing DNA from across the globe, the space will also include facilities that benefit individual companies including:

  • A cultural, corporate events space with seating for up to 350 people and an expo capacity of 600, with multiple adjoining breakout spaces and a café bar
  • A 210 ° immersive dome able to programme a range of immersive technologies including shared virtual reality; augmented reality and interactive mixed reality
  • Exciting and engaging education and outreach learning programmes, creating a unique learning pipeline through to industry that supports the skills needs of growing companies
  • Innovation activities drawing on partnerships and connections locally, regionally and nationally in areas such as social tech and big data. The aim is to create spaces and connections that will benefit the companies based in the Market Hall, as well as enabling wider exploration of the interface between social enterprise and digital, with positive implications for health, education, heritage, culture, economics, communities and the environment.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.498m

GD34E – Claylands Business Park

Claylands Business Park will deliver high quality grow-on space to meet the needs of some of the areas high-growth businesses which are seeking to upscale. The project will regenerate and enhance a currently unused brownfield site, by providing new high quality employment space. It will deliver both the HotSW LEP and Torbay’s ambitious growth plans – specifically the shared aims to maximise productivity, employment, and create the right conditions to deliver transformational growth.

Growth Deal Funding: £2.04m

GD34F – Caddsdown Blue

The project will provide 310 sq/m of high-quality office space in Bideford that will add value to the limited estate across the area.

5 Units of office accommodation will be provided to meet demand for business grow on space.

The project will provide workspace for around 50 people and will contribute positively to the development of the area’s aspirations for productivity growth.

The project will support key the development of knowledge-based industry in Torridge and is intended to provide a supported and managed working environment within with high growth potential businesses can unlock productivity and flourish.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.179m

GD34G – Wells Technology Enterprise Centre

The Wells Technology Enterprise Centre (WTEC) will be a new 550m2 purpose-built flexible business space located in Wells, West Mendip, in the north of Somerset County. The centre received full planning permission in January 2017 and will serve as an enterprise hub providing business space through a combination of office and light industrial space and an on-site business support offer.

The scheme has been specifically designed to address an identified shortfall in the supply of office space in this part of Somerset and to support business growth amongst SMEs across a range of sectors. Reflecting the local business base, it is anticipated that a number of tenants will be drawn from growth sectors (although the centre will be open to all).

Growth Deal Funding: £0.772m

GD34H – Pathfields

The project aims to open a further 8 hectares of employment land (representing an expected net developable area of 5.5ha) extending the existing Pathfields Business Park to meet the demonstrated need for serviced employment land.

The Project comprises delivery of site road and services to open up some 11 plots of employment land for commercial uses.

Pathfields Business Park is the principle location of Employment land in the Market Town of South Molton North Devon.

Growth Deal Funding: £0.222m