WORTHING’S cultural economy is set to receive a boost thanks to £245,000 of government funding.
Empty offices in Colonnade House will be transformed into a creative hub – providing office space for small and medium-sized arts-based enterprises.
The funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will help to create 22 jobs in the town.
Councillor Bryan Turner, executive member for regeneration at Worthing Borough Council, said: “This is excellent news for Worthing. Not only will the creative hub provide new jobs, but it will deliver the space, resources and facilities to aid networking and interconnectivity between the town’s cultural entrepreneurs.
“Furthermore, this hub will directly influence the continuing revitalisation of Worthing town centre, and will also enhance the local cultural tourism offering.”
Rosalind Turner, chairman of the Adur and Worthing Trust, added: “This funding will mean that Worthing has a focal point for the development of the cultural sector – something that the Trust clearly identified as being absolutely vital to the coast’s cultural business health. I am absolutely delighted that DCLG have recognised these ambitions and provided the funding to drive this creative hub forward.”
The hub will incorporate studio, exhibition and retail spaces, alongside office and cultural development space.
Work to refit Colonnade House is expected to begin in March. The council is also investing £15,000 to bring the project to fruition and, once established, any operational surplus from the hub will be reinvested into the business to help it grow.
In the meantime, Worthing’s first-ever community energy shop will open in Colonnade House on Saturday. The shop is being let on a temporary lease until the end of March.