|BIZ BUZZ: The enterprise centre was launched |
last Thursday evening.
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman and Melody Hossaini - a former candidate on BBC's The Apprentice - joined local business owners for the grand unveiling.
The ground floor of the £2m facility has seminar rooms and hot-desking areas, while upstairs there is office space available for local businesses (be they start-up companies, sole traders or larger firms,)
The purpose-built premises, part of the Chelmund's Cross development, is at the heart of Solihull Council's plans to promote business growth in the local area.
While the borough has traditionally been the engine of the West Midlands economy, growth was brought to a shuddering halt by the recession.
This led to the the local authority drawing up plans to nurture new businesses and encourage job creation, with an action plan announced several years ago.
One of the main challenges identified was the gulf between the number of businesses being set up in North and South Solihull.
According to the 2011 Census, only eight per cent of the working population in Chelmsley Wood are self-employed. By comparison, a far greater proportion of people are working for themselves south of the A45 (in areas like Knowle and Dorridge, as many as one in five.)
It is hoped that the Enterprise Centre will help readdress the balance and the council has set a target of having the site 70 per cent occupied by next year.