The Cabinet Member decision paves the way for the Council to progress formal lease negotiations for two spaces at Bognor Regis Railway Station, which will provide a hub for creative and digital businesses.
The Council will also be seeking an operator to run the hub, and a call for bids will be issued in the spring.
Leader of the Council Louise Goldsmith said: “It is really good to see this exciting project moving forward. We know there is a growth in creative business across the coastal area and basing the hub in Bognor Regis linked into the University of Chichester project is the ideal place.
“It is anticipated the Bognor Regis creative digital hub and its activities will be able to support more than 150 businesses at any one time by providing shared working space, business support and networking events. The appointment of the right operator for the hub is vital to its success.
“One of our three main priority areas as a County Council is the development of the West Sussex economy. This project will achieve a range of economic benefits for Bognor Regis and the surrounding area such as job creation, business growth, the establishment of Bognor Regis as a centre of the creative digital sector, skills development for young people and graduate retention linked to the University of Chichester’s new digital campus in the town.
“This project is another example of West Sussex County Council collaborative working as it has been shaped with the help of the local business community – we have engaged with creative digital businesses in the area and their input really has been valuable. Our aim is for the hub not only to bring something new to Bognor Regis, but to help contribute to the wider regeneration of the town.”
The hub would create high value jobs in the creative digital sector by providing a shared workspace for businesses. The aim is for a place where start-ups and freelancers can work side by side, share facilities and network and have access to training and support.
Led by the County Council, a number of partners are involved in the project including Arun District Council and Hemingway Design, who are working on space plans for the hub, designing how it will look, what facilities it will have and developing the branding for the hub.
The hub will be closely linked to the development of the University of Chichester’s Engineering and Digital Technology Park and could potentially provide space for graduates to launch businesses.
It is planned for the hub to open later in 2017.
Anyone interested in the Bognor Regis creative digital hub project can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.