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Cash approved for £4.2m Teesside digital centre
Posted by Martin Walker on 20 Aug 2013
Funding has been approved to help pay for a £4.2m digital business centre on Teesside.
More than £2m of Government cash has been secured for the Boho 5 development in Middlesbrough.
The new centre will provide a hub for up to 50 start-up firms on the Middlehaven site and create hundreds of jobs.
Plans for the development, on vacant land between Bridge Street East and Winward Way near Middlesbrough College, were first revealed in February.
Planning permission was granted in March, and now a total of £2.1m has been secured from the Government’s regeneration body, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Work on the 2,300sqm site is expected to start in December and be completed in September 2014.
Boho Five would be the latest stage of the Boho Zone in Middlesbrough, which has proved successful as an emerging centre for digital and media businesses.
The latest facility would provide a "business incubation unit", with premises for new businesses looking to establish themselves in the digital sector.
A report on the progress of the project prepared for Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, is due to be discussed at a meeting this week.
The review says: “Alongside the obvious regeneration benefits arising from a further commercial building in the area, the specific economic benefits of the project would be significant."
The report says Boho 5 will generate 100 jobs and 27 SMEs in three years and more than 200 jobs and 50 small businesses after seven years.
Since 2007, the Boho Zone project has included Boho One, a 3,200sqm building providing workspace for 27 digital media companies; Boho Two, refurbished Victorian buildings near Middlesbrough Railway Station housing 15 artists’ business units; Boho Three, a 3,300sqm of live-work accommodation for 20 digital professionals; Boho Four, a 1,000sqm refurbished Victorian building with 14 companies employing more than 50 people and Boho Six, home to four companies employing more than 20 people.