Plans to transform Corsham’s Mansion House into a digital innovation and business hub, which will create jobs and opportunities for the local area, have been given the green light by the Secretary of State.
The plans to transform the landmark building into a hub for digital and innovation opportunities was approved by Wiltshire Council in May.
The council had set out conditions to ensure the £2.5m redevelopment project would be sympathetic to the building while creating an exciting hub for business.
As two statutory consultees raised concerns, the listed building consent was referred to the Secretary of State. Now the Department for Communities and Local Government has granted that consent.
Chuck Berry, cabinet member for economic development said: “This is very good news for Corsham and for Wiltshire.
“As a council we are committed to embracing the digital economy and ensuring Wiltshire is at the forefront of innovation and technology.
“This approval from government means this empty building will be transformed into a digital hub which will create jobs, opportunities and attract investment into the area.
“We are mindful there are concerns on how we bring modern innovation into a heritage setting but we are confident by following the careful planning requirements we can maintain this beautiful site while creating real opportunities for the town.”
The project, one among a number of major schemes benefiting from the Government's Growth Fund, is led by Wiltshire Council and funded by the SWLEP.
The redevelopment of Corsham Mansion House has been a project in development for more than two years which will create incubation space for businesses working within the digital and innovation sectors; teaching space to deliver related education courses; and facilities for businesses, institutions, academia, and the public sector to come together to support development around the digital economy.
John Mortimer, Chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership(SWLEP) said: “I am delighted that the plan to redevelop Corsham Mansion House has been approved by the Secretary of State.
“This SWLEP funded project will generate opportunities for collaboration and business growth in Corsham and will build on the town’s growing reputation for digital communication and technologies.
The redevelopment will bring the building back into sustainable use, providing accessible and flexible space. The ground floor provides meeting and seminar rooms, networking areas and exhibition space.
The first and second floors are mostly office spaces to be let to tenants developing digital businesses.
A design steering group involving members of the community, local businesses and the town council helped agree the principles of the building and its operation.
A range of specialist and technical advice was taken over two years and amendments were made to the design following consultation to ensure that the development was appropriate to the listed building and the needs of the town.