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New work hubs in Teignmouth and Newton Abbot

Posted on 21 Sep 2021

Newton Abbot LibraryLibraries Unlimited and Devon County Council address office space shortage.

Businesses struggling to find affordable, state-of-the-art office space in the centre of Newton Abbot and Teignmouth are to be thrown a lifeline by local charity Libraries Unlimited and Devon County Council.

Two new Work Hubs, which will be called Work:Space, are being developed in the towns which a recent study showed have a shortage of suitable facilities.

Carrie Atkinson, Libraries Unlimited’s Premises Manager, has led the design of the spaces and said: “We’re really excited about offering what we believe will be a great asset not only to local businesses but to the towns of Teignmouth and Newton Abbot overall. The new rooms will be cost effective, convenient, central and have all the facilities that start-up or expanding small businesses need. We know that there’s been an increase in businesses being set up in the last year as a result of redundancy or new opportunities presented by the pandemic, and we hope to time this exactly right for them wanting to take the next step up.”

Work begins on the Hubs this month and they will be open by the end of November, joining the network of 13 existing Devon Work Hubs operating across the county.

Devon County Council carried out an independent study into the availability of affordable and flexible office space in key towns across Devon. It was found that Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Bideford, Seaton, Kingsbridge and South Molton were in the most need. The report focused on areas with a higher number of workers and micro businesses from the creative, digital, social media, ICT, arts and professional sectors.

Devon County Council secured funding for the projects from the Government’s Getting Building Fund which is administered through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to create spaces to meet the demand and help towns recover from the economic impact from Covid. Libraries Unlimited identified their two library buildings in Teignmouth and Newton Abbot as having rooms to develop after previous tenants moved out. The charity secured £142,000 from Devon County Council and contributed £47,000 of its own money for the project.

The Newton Abbot Work Hub will be located on the top floor of the town centre Passmore Edwards Centre. The landmark Edwardian building already includes a library, café, railway studies centre, meeting rooms and adult learning centre. The Work Hub will provide business space close to local amenities and adding value to the overall regeneration plans for the town being led by Teignbridge District Council.

The finished Work Hub will include:

  • A five room workspace providing 22 desks for rental and 195sqm of rentable space.
  • Separate 24/7 swipe card access so tenants can use the site any time
  • A kitchenette area, toilet and shower space
  • Bike storage to support green travel
  • Wheelchair access and accessible toilet
  • Upgraded IT/broadband infrastructure.

The Teignmouth Work Hub will be located on the ground and lower ground floors of the library, providing a distinct business space, close to the heart of the town centre, within walking distance of local amenities, including the train station.

The finished Work Hub will include:

  • A five room work space, providing 12 desks for rental
  • Separate 24/7 swipe card access so tenants can use the site any time
  • Toilet and shower space
  • Bike storage to support green travel.
  • Wheelchair access and accessible toilet

Anyone wishing to find out more about these spaces, or to register an interest in renting space should get in touch by emailing roomhire@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “Our network of work hubs is already extremely successful in providing start-up firms and small businesses with a location to be able to put down roots and grow, and we’re pleased to expand this network further. Devon’s work hubs can play an important role in supporting local communities and stimulating the local economy as we look towards a strong recovery from the pandemic.”

Work Hub customers will benefit from being able to use the Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) as a library member, which offers access to a range of business databases, seminars and workshops. Many BIPC resources are available online or remotely, with in person support and events at centres based in Exeter, Barnstaple and Paignton.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.