Construction company, Seddon, turns Shire Hall library into an enterprise centre for Staffordshire County Council and local businesses
Stafford’s 224-year-old Shire Hall has received a £2m regeneration, with Seddon turning the former library space into a new business enterprise centre. The new facilities offer a range of 97-323 sq. ft office spaces, a reception room and meeting areas to facilitate networking opportunities and knowledge sharing, with flexible hot desking and PO box rental also on offer to local businesses. The new business centre will create accessible provisions to help support local small and start-up businesses with flexible tenancies and an on-site support team.
Stafford Chamber of Commerce is among the first of the occupants to move into the market square centre, which blends modern office aesthetics with the historical features of the building’s architecture, having been built for use as a courthouse in 1798.
During the 28-week project, a bespoke lath and plaster ornate ceiling, an original part of the building, was repaired and redecorated by a specialist. As Shire Hall is Grade II listed, Seddon and its delivery partner, Entrust, worked to standards and expectations set by the Heritage Authority to uphold the integrity of the building, whilst optimising it for its new life as a business enterprise centre.
Peter Jackson, managing director of Seddon said: “The Shire Hall project has been an excellent project for us, modernising the interior of one of Stafford’s landmark buildings whilst still keeping its history and integrity in place. Regeneration projects like this are important to both Seddon and the communities we serve. The project is a testament to our relationship with Staffordshire County Council which continues to go from strength to strength.”
Staffordshire Council deputy leader, Philip White added: "It’s fantastic to see the Shire Hall open for business and with the first tenants ready to make the most of the superb facilities.
“Having Shire Hall open again as a thriving business centre is exciting for Stafford and will play an important part in the wider regeneration of the town. It is an iconic landmark in the heart of Stafford town centre and we’re pleased to have brought it back into productive use for the community.”
Taken on by the North West based contractors, the project sees Seddon building on its recent growth in the Midlands, which has resulted in a 117% turnover in the region since 2018 and brings a new era of usage for the Grade II listed building.
Seddon’s current projects in the Midlands include the refurbishment and remodelling of Sandwell secondary school in West Bromwich, converting its use from a technical college into a general teaching facility. It is also refurbishing category 2 bioscience labs at the University of Derby, with Seddon now firmly established in the region.