Worthing out performs most of the UK when it comes to the creative industries, according to recent NESTA research, with a thriving arts scene whose businesses generate more turnover than 70% of comparable companies across the country.
Against this background, it’s unsurprising that Worthing Borough Council took the initiative to restore Colonnade House and reinvent it as a Creative Hub, providing a platform for high quality and innovative work by local practitioners, as well as showcasing new practice from the wider world, fostering cross-disciplinary inspiration and collaboration.
After two years of hard work, where the grand old dame of Warwick Street threw more than a few surprises at the restoration team, the Colonnade House Creative Hub officially opened on Friday 2nd September. The ten shared work-spaces have already attracted significant interest from the local creative community, and the first tenants are expected to move in during September. Additionally, the ground floor gallery and events space has received a large number of enquiries from potential hirers keen to benefit from the footfall through Worthing’s thriving cafe quarter.
Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:
“I am delighted to see Colonnade House reinvented to help drive growth in our creative sector. Research tells us that for every £1 in turnover generated by arts and culture, we see an additional 51% returned to the wider economy – which is significant for the prosperity of the whole Borough and demonstrates why Worthing Borough Council continues to support the arts and cultural sector in the town.”
“We also know that supporting creative businesses does more than simply generate a direct financial return to the town. Successful, accessible, artists and makers demonstrate to our young people that the creative industries offer significant career potential, helping to inspire them as they choose their paths through education, building a solid foundation for a successful future.”
Karen Simporis, Chair of the Adur and Worthing Trust, adds:
“This is an exciting time for Worthing which looks set to catch the wave of its changing demographic by becoming a centre for Creative industry in the widest sense – ie not just artists and makers but also event organisers, gaming, digital and much more.”
“It’s the biggest sector locally and we think a growing number of entrepreneurs will now choose local work-space like Colonnade House and The Sphere rather than commute. It will also provide a showcase for the vibrant work we know is going on under the radar.”
“We invite you to think creatively about the Hub which will exist virtually as well as physically and will add extra momentum to our economy by supporting those sectors and businesses which are capable of growing most quickly.”