High hopes hub will give a boost to town’s businesses

A TRAIL-blazing new hub is doing the business in Bognor Regis.

The Core Business Hub opened its doors in the town centre last Monday and is already proving to be a hit.

The social enterprise, which is the first of its kind for the town, is hoping to be a one-stop shop for local business needs.

Hub director Julie Robinson said: “Our main aim is not just to be an office where people can come in and work but to be a real genuine support network and resource for Bognor Regis businesses.

“We will be offering work space, but we are also here to offer advice and training.

“The good thing is because we are a social enterprise any profits we make will be going back into what we are trying to do – help local businesses.”

Working with the University of Chichester, the hub hopes to improve economic development in the town.

The enterprise was given a kickstart £50,000 grant from West Sussex County Council to renovate the large double-fronted premises.

Julie said: “It has probably taken about two years to get where we are now. It has been a lot of work, but it has definitely been worth it.

“I also hope the hub will help with the regeneration of this part of the centre. We have been able to take a derelict vacant shop and turn it into something new and exciting.”

Julie said she was amazed by the support the hub has already received.

“It has been great. Everyone has been interested in what we have been doing. There have been so many businesses and others knocking on the windows and popping their heads in,” she said.

A big part of what the hub is keen to do is to get the word about local businesses out.

Working with the university, it will be holding a Bognor hour on social networking site Twitter.

Julie said: “The idea behind it is that local businesses will take an hour out of their day to promote themselves and what they do on Twitter.

“Using #Bognor they will be able to interact with each other and hopefully we will be able to build up a network of Bognor businesses.”

The first session was held yesterday at 2pm and there will be one every Tuesday at the same time. The hub, which is in Belmont Street, has been split into a number of different working environments.

Aside from specialist advice, the hub will provide start-up and small businesses with hot desks, offices, meeting and training rooms and one-to-one support from lectures and experts from the university.

For more information visit www.corebusinesshub.co.uk.