The site which was once the town’s hope for a GP surgery has been sold to build office space.
The Enterprise Hub next to Morrisons in Wick has been sold to BizSpace, which describes itself as ‘the largest provider of flexible workspace with offices and workshops across the UK’.
The 30,000 sq ft, two-storey office building near the A259 will be fully refurbished and 73 new work spaces will be available on short-term agreements and at affordable licence fees.
It was sold by Morrisons after an agreement with the NHS to build a GP surgery there fell through, sparking criticism that healthcare bosses took too long to get the plans off the ground.
Nick Smith, development director at BizSpace, said the purchase was part of the company’s growth plans, and that work will start this week and should be completed by late summer next year.
He added that Arun District Council supported their proposals. He said: “The Enterprise Hub is a fantastic site that offers huge potential for redevelopment.
“We’re committed to investing time and money into developing modern business environments and look forward to creating a vibrant working community where the small businesses and entrepreneurs in the region can thrive.”
The refurbishment of The Body Shop’s original headquarters will update the existing interiors to provide modern workspaces, centre-wide Wi-Fi and a large communal area.
A spokesman said they would be looking to appoint a manager for the site early next year, and the redevelopment would create jobs.
Arun District councillor Mike Northeast’s ward covers the site. He was a staunch supporter of getting the GP surgery built there. He said: “Obviously I’m disappointed that the new health facility never went in there, but I understand the hub has to be taken into use because it is being badly vandalised.
“There is absolutely no doubt about it: a facility like this is needed in the area. There are more and more people going into business on their own that need affordable rent to start it and there isn’t enough of that about. There are too many people working from a garage or bedroom.”
This comes after a public meeting in November, where the NHS proposed a ‘community services hub’ on the Littlehampton Hospital site. Click here to read more.