Business enterprise centre opens its doors

A new business enterprise centre in one of Staffordshire’s historic town centre buildings has opened its doors.

Stafford’s Business Enterprise Centre has already welcomed its first tenants, which include Stafford Chambers of Commerce.

The Shire Hall Business Centre in Stafford’s Market Square has benefited from a £2m fit out.

A total of £1.6m was allocated to the project from the national Getting Building Fund through the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Both the county council and Stafford Borough Council have also invested in the centre.

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “It’s fantastic to see the Shire Hall open for business and with the first tenants ready to make the most of the superb facilities.

“Having the Shire Hall open again as a thriving business centre is exciting for Stafford and will play an important part in the wider regeneration of the town. It is an iconic landmark in the heart of Stafford town centre and we’re pleased to have brought it back into productive use for the community.

“Much consideration has gone into the planning of the hall’s use as a business centre and our evidence and research has shown there is a need for provision in the town for small and start-up companies. It follows the model of our other enterprise centres with flexible tenancies and a support team on site.

“This project has been a real success story and we’ve worked closely with colleagues at the LEP and borough council to make it happen. The renovation of the Shire Hall will complement other projects across Stafford including the Eastgate plans, Market Square refurbishment, Gateway project and high street regeneration.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Alun Rogers said: “The Getting Building Fund is aimed at projects which are ready to go and can make a difference as soon as possible. Our investment in the transformation of the former library space in the Shire Hall into an enterprise and collaboration hub will help us meet the needs and demands of modern business operations and support local start-ups.

“It is our ambition that the new business hub will provide the right environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish, and we look forward to seeing a thriving centre at the heart of Stafford.”