Newquay is set to boast a new tech, food and community space with a unashamed vision to create new jobs and economic growth for the whole county.
Crowdfunder, the Cornwall Food Foundation (which manages the Fifteen Cornwall restaurant and apprentice chef programme at Watergate Bay) and the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) (which has a track record for developing creative, multi-use spaces in landmark buildings and supporting social enterprise), are moving together into a seafront hotel.
Together they will create C-Space inside the 50-bedroom ‘Hotel Sunnyside’ on The Crescent in Newquay – this will mark a first its kind.
Crowdfunder will move its 30 staff across to the new site before Christmas while the other organisations will bring in an additional 10 staff.
However some 80 new jobs could be created over the next five years as C-Space supports 1,000 start-ups in Cornwall alone.
Rob Love, founder and executive chairman of Crowdfunder, said C-Space is about creating economic impact not only in Newquay, but across Cornwall.
“This is a statement for Newquay,” he said. “This collaboration is unique – It won’t just be Crowdfunder’s space, but it will be a space for sharing ideas and collaborating on projects that will benefit Cornwall and beyond.
It will help create jobs here in Cornwall and other parts of the country.”
Since 2014 Crowdfunder has raised over £55 million for projects across the UK and expects to raise £200 million by 2020.
C-Space has been made possible thanks to a £2 million investment from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
The project will fuse business and incubation space with a local produce café and bar, events venue, production studio and retail showcase by partially converting a seaside hotel with stunning views over Towan beach.
There will be business space for permanent tenants, as well as start-up and incubation space for fledgling businesses, many of which are expected to be funded through the crowd.
Support will come from RIO, which has extensive experience of innovating and incubating enterprises, especially in the creative and cultural industries.
LEP Chief Executive Glenn Caplin said: “C-Space will be a huge asset for Cornwall, a place to forge a community of collaborators where ideas can be fostered and funded, creating businesses and jobs.
“The project partners have a track record of creating quality, well-paid jobs and helping people without qualifications or skills to progress. It will be a multi-functional workspace and venue that anyone can use, and a vibrant hub for Newquay.”
A licensed café and bar operated by the Cornwall Food Foundation will showcase local food and drink, and there will be retail space where Crowdfunder projects can sell their products.
C-Space will be a dynamic and engaging social venue for events and will be open to the community, bringing people together to generate and share ideas.
Hot desks will allow new businesses to rub shoulders with established businesses and major brands, including national Crowdfunder clients like Virgin, GoDaddy and M&S, who will be encouraged to use the space. A fully equipped studio will be used for online training, webinars and project broadcasts.
Mr Love added: “We want to work with Newquay and our partners around the world to attract a host of new business to join us in crafting a unique, world-class ‘ideas factory’ in the C-Space which will become the ultimate workspace by the sea.”
Matthew Thomson, chief executive of the Cornwall Food Foundation added: “Using the magic of food to stoke inspiration, we aim to make the C-Space bar restaurant a venue for transformation as much as a space to relax, connect and create.
“The best ideas and relationships are often forged with a drink or a meal and we will be matching the ingredients for growth with the power of the crowd.”
Work on C-Space is expected to begin in November, including the creation of a ‘showroom’ where local people can drop in and find out more about the project as work progresses. The hope is that C-Space will be up and running by summer of next year.
Mr Love said the move also comes as the lease on its current premises in a beautifully refurbished and transformed former surf shop was coming to an end. He said the space is already on the market and will no doubt offer fantastic office spaces for another company.
Lindsey Hall, chief executive of the Real Ideas Organisation said: “The C-Space model is about helping good ideas to flourish, gain support and develop to create sustainable revenue and jobs. C-Space promises to be a vibrant and exciting venue, that will help people turn their good ideas into reality.”
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