Construction of new work and meeting space starts in Southwold
14 Nov, 2022

Work has begun on building a new state-of-the-art workspace in Southwold.

The land on the corner of Station Road and Blyth Road will be transformed into The Hub, a shared business community development for the town.

It will be run by business support and training provider MENTA under its @Inc umbrella and will be the third facility across Suffolk using the model, following successful launches in Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds.

The Hub will provide new employment space, the offer of professional support and training for new and existing businesses, as well as networking events and meeting space for freelancers and teams to work and collaborate.

It will offer a welcome alternative to home working and the opportunity to be part of a business community.

Tenancies will be available on both a permanent and virtual basis.

It has been spearheaded by Southwold Town Council and made possible by grants from The Coastal Communities Fund, Suffolk Growth and supported by partners East Suffolk Council.

Ipswich company Mixbrow Construction has been awarded the building contract, with the first phase now being undertaken.

Will Windell, Mayor of Southwold, said he had been working towards, and championing such a facility for years.

“This has been a real labour of love as this is exactly the kind of facility Southwold needs and it’s been in the melting pot for a long time.

“We look forward to supporting our existing businesses and residents, but also welcoming new people to the town and watching new projects and collaborations roll out, which we hope will benefit all.

“The Hub will do exactly what the word suggests. It will bring people together and provide a centre for business. It will provide a space for the community to unite and work together, be a place of support for businesses and give help to those who might be trying to access grants or funding.”

Alex Till, CEO of MENTA said:

“We have had great success with two initial co-working spaces in Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds. We are seeing a hive of activity within those communities, and we are confident the same response will be replicated in Southwold.

“We want people to be able to drop in for information, book a daily space, a long-term tenancy, it’s whatever works best for them.

“The key is that The Hub is inclusive for all, whether people live in the town or not, work independently or as part of a team, or just need space or business advice and training.”

The project is part of a wider plan for Southwold, encouraging future growth and a continuing legacy to attract new visitors and residents all year round and to move away from a reliance on tourism.

The plans are in line with East Suffolk’s Growth Plan for 2018-2023, which states the need for a more diverse economy with space for community initiatives and increased micro and SME business provision.

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development said:

“This is a welcome addition to Southwold and brings together the aims of the council’s Growth Plan all under one roof.  We are delighted to support the project and look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”