Work will shortly resume in Penzance on a dedicated workspace and hub for creative businesses after a new contractor was appointed to complete the project.
Cornwall Council has appointed Kier Construction to continue work on the Penzance Creative Cluster after the previous contractor Midas, entered into administration earlier this year.
Due to be completed in Autumn 2023, the building will provide up to 30 modern studios and flexible workspaces at Causewayhead for businesses within the diverse creative sector, from high tech digital companies to visual and performing artists.
Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy, said: “To revitalise our high streets we have to bring businesses – and, as a result, jobs – to our town centres. Cornwall has more people working within the creative industries than any other rural area in the UK and we know there is demand for dedicated workspace.
“It is great news that we have a new contractor to complete work on the project which forms part of a wider strategy to regenerate and reinvigorate Penzance town centre.
"With the unprecedented rise in the cost of delivering construction schemes, I am pleased we have been able to secure additional ERDF investment as well as increase the Council’s contribution, to bring this project to fruition.”
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council local member for Penzance East, said: “I want to thank the Leader and Cabinet for standing by Penzance and making sure this project wasn’t scuppered as a result of Midas going bust. The extra EU and Cornwall Council funds will help revitalise the top of Causewayhead as planned, despite the huge challenge of rising construction costs in Cornwall.”
Chris Couch, area manager at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cornwall Council on another scheme, this time to deliver the Penzance Creative Cluster. The new building will be built to BREEAM excellent standards which means it has many sustainable benefits as well as providing 1544m2 of employment space and studios for local artists.
“As part of the project, our Comish based team will be working with local schools and employment organisations to provide onsite training and work experience. We know this scheme is important to the local community, it will provide first-class new employment space as well as training opportunities for the next generation as we look to leave lasting legacies in areas in which we work.”
The Penzance Creative Cluster is being funded by Cornwall Council (£3.5m) and the European Regional Development Fund (£6.5m)