Hopes empty enterprise hub will be taken on by new firm by Christmas

The former library and restaurant located next to the former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall

The former library and restaurant located next to the former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill - Credit: Ben Hardy

An empty city centre enterprise hub looks set to reopen "this side of Christmas" which has been hailed as an economic boost by a business chief.

Norwich Enterprise Centre, in Guildhall Hill near Norwich market, has been closed for several years, according to Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID.

But the Norwich City Council-owned unit looks set to be taken on soon.

A council spokeswoman said: “We’ve been progressing discussions with an interested party in regards to taking on the former Norwich Enterprise Centre and hope to be able to welcome in a new tenant to this key city centre building very soon.”

Sam Kingston, partner at Roche Chartered Surveyors. Picture: Roche Chartered Surveyors.

Sam Kingston, partner at Roche Chartered Surveyors. Picture: Roche Chartered Surveyors. - Credit: Archant

Sam Kingston, partner for Roche which is marketing the space, said: "We continue to be in discussion with interested parties. There is strong interest. It is being marketed as office/retail. We are hopeful we will have it let this side of Christmas."

Mr Gurney said space was ideal for smaller businesses because of the unit's layout and size.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director at Norwich BID. Photo: Submitted

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director at Norwich BID. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

He said: "It is a good space. We are starting to see some huge development in that area which is great for the city.

"It is a great location and it would be a good boutique-style office space. It is good news for the city centre. Units that have been empty for a while are finding tenants."

Mr Gurney added the prospective development was an added bonus to the creation of the new Travelodge in Guildhall Hill and Dove Street which is expected to open by spring 2024.

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The empty Norwich Enterprise Centre next to the former Library restaurant, which closed in 2019 and is in an historic building.

That space is still up for rent and being marketed by Brown and Co.

Mr Gurney described the former restaurant as a "unique space" adding it needed a lot of vision because of its double height layout.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre of Retail Research. Picture: Joshua Bamfield

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre of Retail Research. Picture: Joshua Bamfield - Credit: Joshua Bamfield

Professor Joshua Bamfield, from the Centre for Retail Research, said it was a problem for a city if it did not have an enterprise hub because a lot of people in lockdown wanted to start a new business.