ST NEOTS S unique £2million Creative Exchange, designed to be a seed-bed for fledgling companies in the media sector and related industries, opened its doors last week. As well as having 14 units for start-up creative companies, the striking four-storey c
ST NEOTS'S unique £2million Creative Exchange, designed to be a seed-bed for fledgling companies in the media sector and related industries, opened its doors last week.
As well as having 14 units for start-up creative companies, the striking four-storey centre in the grounds of Longsands College incorporates communal meeting space and an unusual working roof-garden with spectacular views of St Neots and Priory Park.
Although the lion's share of the funding came from central government, the idea was the brainchild of Huntingdonshire District Council's economic development team, for which the creative sector is seen as one of the key areas to deliver jobs for an expanding population.
The council says St Neots has a large percentage of people who travel outside the area to work, and that, combined with the potential growth of the town, made it the natural choice to locate the Creative Exchange.
The town will take the largest proportion of at least 11,200 new homes scheduled for Huntingdonshire in the 20 years up to 2021, many of them at Loves Farm across the railway line from the new building.
"It is hoped that children from both of the local secondary schools will be inspired by the building and make good use of the space, both as a place to learn and as a place to work in the future," said a council spokesman.
"Both of the secondary schools in St Neots have a specialist status. St Neots Community College has specialist status for performing arts and technologies, and Longsands College has specialist status in media technology and arts.
Corrine Garbett, HDC's head of policy and strategic services, said this week: "The opening of the Creative Exchange went extremely well. Many visitors came along to the open day and were very impressed by the building and enjoyed taking part in all the events.
"We have already had much interest from potential tenants, with some offices already let. However, the building will also be a great asset to the residents of Huntingdonshire who will be able to improve their skills by accessing the many courses which will be on offer."
INFORMATION: Spaces are still available to let. For further information or to arrange a visit to the building contact Julie Drummond at HDC on 01480 387086.