A FORMER department store in Sheffield will be turned into a new business centre to help people launching digital businesses.
Castle House, in Castlegate, will become the Sheffield ‘Maker Hub’ at a cost of £3,5 million.
It will be one of three digital business ‘incubators’ which the Government announced last year it would be funding in northern England.
It is hoped that together, the incubators in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester will create 6,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
The Government has stepped in because the open market has failed to provide the facilities digital businesses need in their early stages.
Sheffield already boasts Electric Works to support digital businesses but a report to be considered by Sheffield councillors next weeks says it is “reaching capacity and keen to refer clients to the new facility.”
The report says: “The proposal to establish the incubator in Castle House at Castlegate will be a major boost for the regeneration of the area following the demolition of the markets building and will form an important element of the council’s aspiration to change the nature of, and attract new uses into, the area, particularly in respect of creative and digital businesses and activities.
“It will also bring a large and distinctive listed building which has been vacant for several years back into use.”
Sheffield City Council will oversee the Government cash made available for the project but a private developer will carry out the work.
It is hoped the project will encourage other investment in the area.