Chris Wilson from Weymouth Area Development Trust – WADT – came to briefly update the Chamber executive at their monthly meeting following previous presentation at the June Chamber Breakfast meeting at the John Gregory.
“Starfish Enterprise” is the name chosen for the project being hopefully based on Weymouth’s Pavilion Peninsula. A quirky but memorable name for the housing of office space for micro businesses coming to Weymouth with meeting rooms where space can be rented for the day or longer. This is all about creating an ethos and environment for job creation and business regeneration in the area.
Funds are required to initiate this centre with very high speed broadband, leasing costs and good coffee!
Chris explained -” In March 2017 we were approved as a not for profit Community Interest Company, and are now Weymouth Area Development Trust CIC Ltd. Regulated by the CIC regulator. We are a company with charitable aims.”
A Development Trust is -Community based, owned and led – Engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community – Independent but seek to work in partnership with other private, voluntary and public sector organisations – and – Self sufficient or aiming for self sufficiency, and not for private profit.
Other local coastal towns with Development Trusts include Lyme Regis, Bridport and Swanage.
WADT is putting together a bid for £3milion from the “Coastal Communities Fund” available to all coastal towns and it would like Weymouth and Portland Chamber support. The Council and Weymouth College are in support and more bodies are needed in this project for job creation and new business.
The ultimate aim being to purpose build a centre with office and factory space for new ideas encouraging potential business growth.
The WADT want the Chamber to engage with them and support the Business Leaders Meetings in giving a focus to the project.