Business Development Unit for Seaton?

PUBLISHED: 13:30 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:41 15 June 2010

A Business Development Unit in Seaton will act as a business catalyst" for the town if it becomes a reality, according to a feasibility study report.

A Business Development Unit in Seaton will act as a "business catalyst" for the town - if it becomes a reality, according to a feasibility study report.Seaton Development Trust had raised £15,000 through funding partners Capital Fund, Devon Renaissance, Seaton Town Council and East Devon District Council for the report to be carried out and handed over copies to them last week. Carried out by planners and development economists Tym and Partners, the study confirmed that there is a strong case to be made for a development where new and existing small businesses in the Seaton and Axe Valley area can converge under one roof. It also found that the best site for the Business Development Unit (BDU) would be on an industrial area in Harepath Road, currently the focus of a planning application from Magna Homes and Barkley Park Homes. According to Tym and Partners, Seaton has a high proportion of "own account employers and workers"- home-based businesses and home-workers, no facilities to support start-up businesses and a need to attract a younger population. The report also highlights demand for industrial workshops in Seaton which is not being met even though it outstrips the need for offices, a "market failure" which it believes the BDU can address. It adds: "Our preferred option is a mixed provision of offices and workshops.... This combination may help to achieve full occupancy quicker, resulting in healthier cash flows. "Seaton BDU needs to provide a range of services to its tenants and other local organisations and businesses, which include business advice, business start-up advice, marketing support, and virtual office. Its role as a catalyst of business activity should be strengthened by strong support to business networking groups and events."Estimated additional funding of between £60,000 and £1.6 million will need to be found for the project.

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