Lincolnshire County Council’s environment and economic scrutiny committee agree with investing in Eventus at Market Deeping
A £1.4 million revamp will be carried out to a business hub, with more space set to be created for start up firms in the area.
Members of Lincolnshire County Council’s environment and economic scrutiny committee agreed to go ahead with investing in Eventus, just off the A1175 at Market Deeping.
The council had wanted to build a second facility nearby but couldn’t get the external funding needed to go ahead with this.
Using some of the now-vacant Landis Gyr site nearby was also ruled out as being a ‘high revenue risk’ in the current economic climate.
The plan now is to remodel the existing building - at a price of up to £1m - and carry out repairs and fire safety work which could cost up to £433,000.
The works would involve removing a front staircase which blocks views of the centre’s popular cafe - and is said to be used by people taking part in illegal car meets.
Eventus opened in 2009 and aims to provide office and conference space for small and medium businesses looking to establish themselves. At the moment, 95 per cent of the space at the facility is taken.
As well as removing the staircase, the changes would mean:
l The first floor reception is moved to the ground floor.
l Two first floor conference suites are cut to one and moved to the ground floor.
l The vacated first floor space will be made into suites.
l ‘Agile’ workspace in current communal areas.
The extra space is expected to bring in an extra £45,750 per year to the council.
The authority thinks it could fill most of the space within six months and will eventually make £323,000 to £368,750 per year from the new-look building.
Work could begin in November or December, with an ambition to finish in August 2022.
Deepings councillor Ashley Baxter (Ind) said the plan was ‘most welcome’ but said: “We in the Deepings are disappointed that there is not enough funding for ‘Eventus 2’. That was always the promise and almost from day one when Eventus opened we realised the waiting list was too long.”
He added: “If that’s not financially possible for whatever reason that’s a shame.”
Coun Baxter said it was important to ‘future proof’ the facility.
He said long-standing tenant Zazzle Media’s rise from small business to multi million pound operation ‘shows what you can do if you have got the facilities available’.
Mick King, head of economic infrastructure, said the digital marketing firm is considering relocating to a site in Peterborough but that the council does not want to lose it from the district and will ‘look for opportunities’ for it in the local area if it leaves Eventus.