Preparatory works set to start on Workington Innovation Centre site

Workington Innovation Centre

Preparatory works that will support the development of a new multi-million project in Workington will get underway on Saturday 13 July.

The Workington Innovation Centre will be located on part of the Central Car Park in the town centre and will, primarily, be aimed at digital technology and advanced manufacturing businesses. The vision is to establish it as a distinctive focal point for the incubation and growth of entrepreneurial businesses and will also address the lack of modern office accommodation in Workington.

To enable the works to get underway, Central Car Park will close from Saturday and will remain closed during the construction of the new site. Some car parking spaces will also be unavailable from tomorrow (Wednesday 10 July).

Alterative parking is available within the town including the nearby multi-storey car park and Brow Top.

The Innovation Centre is part of the Workington Town Deal - £23.1 million of Government funding for ambitious projects ranging from a new sports village to improvements to Workington Port.

The four-storey building will be clad in attractive metal panels with windows to provide plenty of natural light, but without losing energy efficiency through the use of too much glass. Solar panels on the roof will help meet the building’s electricity needs and air source heat pumps will also be installed. The area around it will be landscaped to improve biodiversity, and tie the site to its surroundings.

The inside space will be flexible and easily reconfigured to meet the changing needs of tenants, will include conference and meeting room space, and catering facilities for the facility’s users and special events, alongside informal meeting areas.Tenants will be encouraged to use sustainable transport so the building will also have secure cycle storage and shower facilities.

In addition, the Centre will provide tailored innovation and entrepreneurship support.Oxford Innovation Space has been identified as the preferred operator of the new Workington centre. The organisation manages a number of similar facilities across the UK, working with local authorities, universities, science parks and investors.

The NHS is set to build a £15 million Community Diagnostic Centre on the same town centre Central site, offering MRI, CT and ultrasound scans.

Leader of Cumberland Council, Cllr Mark Fryer, said:

“This is another important step forward for the project. There is no supply of Grade A office space in Workington, which limits the town’s ability to attract and retain high quality firms, and there is a poor supply of small units for early stage companies or in-movers looking for amounts of modest space. There is also a limited supply of co-working space.

“The aim of this initiative is to resolve this, as well as re-energising Workington town centre by attracting increased footfall and expenditure. It is exciting to see these projects taking the next steps towards completion.”