Pub and property entrepreneur Darren Lince has teamed up with Sara Scott, the chair of MR BIG, to produce an office development aimed at small businesses.
The ‘Kings Head Business Centre,’ sited behind Grandad’s Shed in Queen Street, promises “5-star business accommodation” with ‘world-class’ internet and video-conferencing facilities. Up to 12 businesses, employing up to 20 staff, would also enjoy other support services to help them succeed.
The ambitious project is the brainchild of Darren Lince and Sara Scott, whose work as volunteer directors of MR BIG, led them to see a need for such a scheme.
The pair bought the ‘Goldmine’ site at auction last November. Their business partnership renovated the original buildings which had been vacant for seven years and saw the ground floor re-opening this summer as furniture store Grandad’s Shed.
Ms Scott said while improvements have been made to the Market Rasen high street, a handful of vacant “problem properties” remain.
“Part of the challenge for the town is sustaining day-time footfall, but many of our residents leave Market Rasen to work in larger towns, taking their custom with them. We saw an opportunity to attract professional businesses into our town whilst simultaneously dealing with one of the long-term problem properties. We want to create a first-class business destination, where small businesses can develop and grow, creating employment at the heart of the community,” she said.
Darren Lince said the pair talked to local businesses about what they wanted from managed offices.
“They want a host of services, including telephone management and virtual assistants, fast internet and fantastic wi-fi, shared printing services, training and development and world-class meeting spaces all packaged at reasonable cost,” he said.
The pair also visited similar developments in Lincoln, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, seeing how ambitious businesses can thrive in such surroundings.
Lince and Scott, as their company is known, has also contacted Network Rail, who own the gated wasteland between their proposed building and Rhodes Kitchens and are in discussions regarding development of the railway arches into commercial units.
“The overall goal for the site is to create a small business park that caters to different types of business requirements. We believe that this hidden gem could help sustain our High Street for the future, without disrupting existing trade and set a precedent for inward investment at the heart of the town,” he said.
The planning‘ application has only just gone to West Lindsey District Council and will be discussed by Market Rasen Town Council tonight.
“The Kings Head Business Centre aims to create a vibrant and thriving environment that will promote next-generation business growth in a traditional rural Lincolnshire market town,” wrote planning consultant Martyn Flynn. “It is hoped that planning permission will be granted for what will become a business ‘hub’ in the area and a much valued resource.”