Work starts on £500k refurb for new digital incubator hub in Harrogate
Work to create a digital business incubator hub in the centre of Harrogate finally began this week after a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The project, intended to supercharge the town’s tech-business landscape, will see the £500,000 refurbishment of two office floors of Springfield House which is part of the Harrogate Convention Centre complex.
The finished building will provide flexible working spaces to suit individual or small businesses in the tech, digital and media industries.
As well as office space, it will provide event and meeting space, a business support hub, workshops and one-to-one advice on subjects including business plans and financial support.
The council unveiled plans to refurbish the site in February 2019 and work had been due to start last year. However, the convention centre’s transformation into an NHS Nightingale Hospital meant the project had to be put on hold.
Now the council is now progressing with the project, which is expected to take around 20 weeks, and has appointed Lindum, based in Elvington near York, to carry out the renovations.
Harrogate Borough Council vacated Springfield House, off King’s Road, when it moved all of its operations to its new £13.1m civic centre at Knapping Mount in 2017. The office has since been let out to businesses.
The project is being funded by £540,000 which the council secured from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s Business Rates Pool, specifically to create a digital incubator hub.
It is expected to make the council around £49,000 a year in rent.
Lindum managing director Jonathan Sizer said: “We are delighted to be working with Harrogate Borough Council to deliver this long-awaited project, which will bring empty office space on the third and fourth floors of Springfield House back into use.
“The Harrogate Digital Incubator will not only provide a modern work space, in the heart of the town centre, but a space where businesses can work individually or together to share knowledge, receive advice and fundamentally grow their business.
“High-quality, flexible and affordable office space is in desperately short supply and high demand. We are delighted to be working with Harrogate Borough Council to deliver this project and playing our role in helping the economy to bounce back from the effects of Covid-19.”
The contract was procured via Pagabo’s Refit and Refurb framework.
Karen Carter, regional relationship manager for the North at Pagabo, said: “We were delighted to again support Harrogate Borough Council with the quick and compliant appointment of Lindum to deliver the Springfield House project, a facility which aligns to our values of being digital first and supporting new and smaller businesses to flourish.
“The award through our specialist refit and refurbishment framework showcases the expertise available within our ecosystem to efficiently progress projects for all of our public sector clients.”