Today Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for East Sussex officially opened the new Crowborough Town Council offices and Enterprise Centre at Pine Grove.
Following a public consultation, Crowborough Town Council bought Wealden District Council’s former office building in 2016 at a cost of £1 million to create an enterprise centre. The sale also included the transfer of the freehold of the adjacent Crowborough Community Centre and the freehold of the Bluebell Wood.
Since then contractors working for the Town Council have been refurbishing the building and creating business units for existing small and medium sized enterprises and new business start-ups. The town’s library which also is located on the first-floor was also given a modern new look last year.
Today the Town Clerk, Caroline Miles, said:
Back in 2015 the Town Council had a vision to re-purpose this site which would retain the existing building whilst also providing new services and opportunities for Crowborough. It is wonderful today to see the recently renovated library flourishing – full of residents making the most of the wonderful resource; to see the Council Offices here and open for business; and finally, to see the Enterprise Centre as a fully-realised vision, providing a space to grow and develop already established businesses, as well as a place for new business owners to begin their journey.
The Town Council have borrowed £2.65 million from the Public Works Loans Board to fund the initiative raising Council Tax to repay the interest. The East Sussex Business Incubator Fund provided a £250,000 loan and £250,000 grant towards the project. The balance, of around £850,000, came from the sale of the old CCA Hall on Park Road and from council reserves.
Basepoint will be operating Enterprise Centre. The Town Council will be paid a fixed rental income plus a proportion of the net profits.