Plans For Porthmellon Innovation Centre Go On Display

What the new centre could like like

People on the islands looking for flexible workspace may soon be able to use a cutting-edge innovation centre being proposed by the Council

Yesterday, plans for the Porthmellon Innovation and Enterprise Centre, to be built on the site of the former wholesalers, went on public display at the Old Wesleyan Chapel and strategic Investment Manager, Diana Mompoloki, says the response from the public was very positive.

Diana says research by the Economic Development Department a couple of years ago highlighted the lack of affordable and suitable workspace on the islands as a key hurdle for small businesses.

In response, the Council is proposing to create a building with 10 flexible units, which could be used as either offices or workshops, together with meeting rooms and a public space.

The building will have solar panels, which should provide enough power for it’s day-to-day activities.

At the far end of the building will be a large, single workshop, which will be used by the Scilly Cart Company to store and maintain their golf buggies as well as a space for the Buzza Bus, and the intention is that both the carts and the bus will be charged using solar energy.

Former wholesalers building, currently on the site

The units will have state-of-the-art IT facilities, including superfast broadband, and will be leased on a short-term basis, meaning people would not have the large outlay required for a dedicated workspace.

Diana says the intention is to also employ a Centre Manager who, on top of running the building, will provide IT and business support including help identifying and applying for grants.

Architect Mike Bradbury says they’ve tried to come up with a contemporary design that will be a “statement” as you enter the Porthmellon industrial estate.

They’ve tried to incorporate as much natural light as possible and the building is highly sustainable with solar power and ground source heating.

Mike says feedback to the strikingly modern design has been good although the building will still need to pass through the planning process.

Diana says several people have already expressed an interest in taking units once the centre is built and, if all goes well, she expects a planning application to be submitted in February next year.