Work starts to create a rural hub

Work is now under way to create the region’s latest rural enterprise hub.

Following planning approval and a grant award from the North East Rural Growth Network, work is begun to create the new hub which will expand the existing enterprise activity that already takes place at Kirkley Hall.

Northumberland College has secured a £60,000 grant from the North East Rural Growth Network to develop the campus into a recognised business centre for the county.

The hub will be based in the courtyard area of the main listed building and will support local businesses and people wishing to start up new businesses.

The project is expected to create six full-time jobs and will specifically target and support budding entrepreneurs aged between 16 and 24 years to become self-employed as well as sustaining existing local businesses.

The Kirkley Hall Enterprise Hub will be operational from February 2015.

Marcus Clinton, principal and chief executive office of Northumberland College, said: “The approval of the planning application is a major step forward for the project and we are excited about turning the plans into reality.

“As a college we are passionate about enterprise and at every opportunity engaging with and supporting employers and business.”

“Forging these links and being part of the hub network will further the exciting developments at our Kirkley Hall Campus, which has been a centre for enterprise with many students getting involved in real work projects such as our zoological gardens and outdoor activity centre.”