Plan for £1.3m Clevedon creative hub joins Local Growth Fund queue

PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 April 2018

Waverley House in Old Church Road. Picture: Google

Waverley House in Old Church Road. Picture: Google

Google

More than £1million has been earmarked to transform a vacant Clevedon building into a creative hub.

The West of England Combined Authority’s joint committee has agreed to add a £1.3million scheme to buy and refurbish Waverley House, in Old Church Road, to a list of initiatives looking for investment through the Local Growth Fund.

It is estimated the three-storey building could provide space for up to 76 workstations and would be used as a home for performing arts groups and a production training facility for young people.

North Somerset Council is backing the bid, and a spokesman said: “We are supportive of the funding bid from the Curzon cinema and Clevedon Chamber of Commerce to develop a creative economy hub.

“The project is a priority in the North Somerset Economy Plan 2017-2036 and has the potential to bring significant economic benefits.

“The project forms part of a wider package of interventions, led by the Clevedon Coastal Communities Team and partners, to deliver the vision of a cultural quarter in the town.

“We understand the Local Growth Fund is currently heavily oversubscribed and therefore the project has been accepted on to the pipeline, pending further funds becoming available.”

Earlier this month the Times reported the Curzon has applied for £50,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership to create a business plan for Waverley House.

Curzon chief executive Susannah Shaw said: “The building for sale next door to the Curzon offers a perfect space which could embrace a mix of businesses and creative start-ups.

“The agents acting on behalf of the owners of Waverley House have acknowledged our interest but as securing funding is a lengthy process, we realise this opportunity – like any commercial sale – could be lost to another purchaser.

“Despite this risk we will continue to seek funding for the project and remain focused on securing the wider objective of a new cultural quarter, based on a stronger Curzon cinema, and will continue to be enterprising in our approach to achieving this.”

Developer Mapeley Gamma Acquisition had received permission to turn Waverley House into 21 houses last year but it has not been implemented.

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