Business incubator set to open in west Cumbria to support new entrepreneurs
A £1.1 million business incubator will be created in west Cumbria to grow a new generation of entrepreneurs.
The Watershed, in Whitehaven, will support aspiring business owners to get their ideas off the ground.
Sellafield and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are providing £996,000 for the project via Sellafield’s social impact budget.
It will be part of the Whitehaven Buzz Station scheme, which Sellafield is supporting with a £2.6 million investment.
Both projects are being led by developer BEC and are key to Whitehaven’s North Shore regeneration program.
"Our social impact strategy is designed to help our community overcome barriers to success. One of those barriers is the low number of business start-ups," said Gary McKeating, head of community and development for Sellafield.
"The Watershed is a state-of-the-art facility which will nurture the energy and creativity of our entrepreneurs and allow them to work together to bring ideas to life."
The Watershed is scheduled to open at the same time as the Buzz Station.
It will support businesses in their very earliest stages, while the Buzz Station will provide facilities for more established companies, the government said.
Its design reflects the changing needs of smaller businesses and aims to provide facilities usually only available in bigger cities.
"Co-working for small businesses is becoming the norm. The conditions they need to grow is changing from a four-walled office to a lively, shared space," Michael Pemberton, chief executive of BEC, said.
"This allows people to bounce ideas off each other and support one another’s growth."