A NEW business centre that was built as a key part of plans to regenerate Stevenston has been hailed a success by the Scottish Government.
The Grange, the new business and commercial centre in the heart of the town, was developed by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has been officially opened by Alex Neil MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment today, Tuesday 6th March.
Already the new business centre, built on the site of the former Grange cinema after which it is named, has seen 12 new jobs created with the opening of a Scotmid store on the ground floor.
Now, Sterling Efforts Administrative Services Ltd, who offer a holistic financial support service, have become the first tenants of the office space in the business centre.
Nikki Niven, managing director of Sterling Efforts, said: “We are delighted to play our part in revitalising business in the area.
“We will be using our new office to expand our operations in the debt support sector to assist those households suffering from financial difficulties or who wish to reduce their monthly outgoings.
“We are currently working with North Ayrshire Council to immediately bring two new administrative jobs to Stevenson with a further post to follow before the end of 2012.”
Interest in the business centre continues to be strong, with more new jobs expected to follow when more businesses take up the top-quality, highly specified office space and workshops.
Mr Neil said: “The new business centre will bring a focus back to the town centre and will help attract businesses and new jobs to the town. It is entirely fitting that the site, which has always played a pivotal role in the life of the town, has been regenerated for the benefit of generations to come.”
The Grange provides flexible business, retail and workshop space in small unit sizes. The accommodation totals some 1,000 sq m.
Patrick Wiggins, chief executive of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, said: “The development responds to the need for good quality business accommodation to stimulate the local economy, encourage new businesses to start and to attract business relocation into the area.
“I am confident it will play a big role in helping to bring businesses to Stevenston, creating jobs in the process, as well as ensuring local businesses can grow and stay in the town.
“It will provide a boost to the town, and it is suitable that a building on this site continues to play a vital role for Stevenston. The Grange cinema was once a big part of the town’s life, and now we hope this building will help bring new life to the town.”
Councillor John Reid, portfolio holder, Regeneration, said: “Here in North Ayrshire, a key part of our economic strategy is to attract and retain more high value businesses through modern business facilities.
“We recognise that job creation, one of our main challenges, starts with a healthy and outward looking business base.
“This new business centre developed by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, in the heart of Stevenston, provides top quality flexible accommodation for businesses.
“We have hit the ground running, with construction work completed six weeks ahead of schedule, followed by the fit-out of the ground floor, where Scotmid have already located their new store and created 12 jobs.
“It’s an excellent start, so let’s keep up the good work.”
All-inclusive rent is available from £380 plus vat per calendar month, with flexible lease periods of a year and longer. First floor offices range from 26 sq m, with commercial space/workshops on the ground floor starting at 76 sq m and going up to 178 sq m. Retail space of 220 sq m is now occupied by Scotmid.
The offices are served by a common entrance lobby, and benefit from nearby public transport links and car parking.
Demolition work on the previous building on the site was completed in December 2009. A planning application was submitted in March 2010. The main contractor for the project, Maxi Construction Ltd, was appointed in early October 2010 and the build started in late November 2010.
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