A major leg-up for new businesses is about to launch.
The new Enterprise Centre in Terminus Road, offering 68 mixed-sized offices and 14 workshops, is all but complete and opens next month.
To help entrepreneurs take home and garage businesses to the next level, flexible one-month leases and ‘virtual offices’ will be available from £400 to £1,600 per month.
High speed internet, free parking, ‘break out’ areas and bookable meeting rooms all form part of the large new facility, which cost Chichester District Council £6m.
Flexible business accommodation means desks can be rented for an hour at a time, or small businesses can take permanent offices.
Speaking at a tour on Monday, Tony Dignum, CDC leader, said: “This will be a hub for start-up and small businesses.
“We have had a lot of interest and local businesses have said this is the sort of thing they need.
“The whole point is to help get small businesses off the ground.”
It is being managed by Basepoint, which operates 30 other business hubs around the country.
Rebecca Gattinesi, Basepoint regional manager, said: “We attract a lot of small high tech, creative and design businesses but also lifestyle, physiotherapy and occupational health companies so there’s a wide variety.”
She said four companies had so far signed up, and with 95 per cent occupancy rate in total across the other sites, she expects others to follow.
Jane Hotchkiss, head of commercial services at CDC, said: “This will support local small and medium sized business, grow the local economy and, we anticipate, create 275 jobs over a three-year period.
“It will also generate an income for the district council to support other services.”
CDC will get a minimum income from Basepoint and a share of the profit, and work has just started on a new, £2m, six-unit site in Terminus Road at the old Goodwood Metalcraft site.