06:15 5 August 2022
An empty downtown business center looks set to reopen “that side of Christmas”, which has been hailed as an economic boost by one business leader.
Norwich Enterprise Center, in Guildhall Hill near Norwich Market, has been closed for several years, according to Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID.
But the unit owned by Norwich City Council is expected to be taken over soon.
A council spokeswoman said: “We have made progress in discussions with an interested party regarding the takeover of the former Norwich Enterprise Center and hope to be able to welcome a new tenant to this key city center building very soon. “
Sam Kingston, Roche’s partner marketing the space, said: “We continue to be in discussions with interested parties. There is strong interest. It is being marketed as office/retail. Christmas.”
Mr. Gurney said the space was ideal for small businesses due to the layout and size of the unit.
He said: “It’s a good space. We’re starting to see huge development in that area, which is great for the city.
“It’s a great location and would make a good boutique style office space. This is good news for downtown. Units that have been empty for some time are finding tenants.
Mr Gurney added that the potential development was an added bonus to the establishment of the new Travelodge at Guildhall Hill and Dove Street, which is due to open by spring 2024.
The empty Norwich Enterprise Center next to the old library restaurant, which closed in 2019 and is in a historic building.
This space is still for rent and marketed by Brown and Co.
Mr Gurney described the former restaurant as a “unique space”, adding that it needed a lot of vision due to its double-height layout.
Professor Joshua Bamfield, from the Center for Retail Research, said it was a problem for a town if it didn’t have a business center because many people in lockdown wanted to start a new business.