Barnicotts Building Development

Those of you who have passed the Cooper Associates County Ground on Priory Bridge Road recently will have noticed that renovation work is being carried out to the large building just outside of the Sir Vivian Richards Gates.

We spoke with Gavin Eddy, the CEO and Founder of Forward Space, who are carrying out the work to find out more.

“We are undertaking a full renovation of the building and turning it into managed workspace,” he explained. “The building will comprise co-working space, private offices, meeting rooms, event space, lounge and a café.

“We are a specialist workspace operator, and we own and manage a total of six buildings across the South West. We provide shared workspace for start ups and early-stage small businesses, typically from the creative industries and technology sectors.

“Typically, we buy heritage buildings like the former Barnicotts building, that are in the town centre with good access to transport and local facilities. Then we redevelop them and fit them out as high-quality workspace such as you might expect to find in London or other big cities.  We specialise in doing this in regional towns. Our model is about encouraging more people to live and work locally.

“The space is aimed at aspirational and ambitious companies. We particularly target businesses like digital media, branding and design agencies, software developers etc. We like the buildings to reflect the ambitions of our clients, so we place a lot of emphasis on making the interiors really impressive.

“We are expecting to be ready to launch in September 2021 and that is certainly looking realistic. Our main contractor Corbel, who are a local Taunton firm, are on site and the building has now been fully wrapped ready to take off the roof and renovate the windows. We are really looking forward to taking the wrap off and revealing the building in all its glory next year.

“It’s a historically important building to Taunton. It was built in the 1800s as a shirt and collar factory for the Van Trump company. There was an identical sister building in Bridgwater, which was sadly demolished. The Taunton building was listed as a way of trying to preserve its history. I think people will agree it is a really handsome building. It’s got a phenomenal number of windows in it; I think there’s over 100, all of which have to be painstakingly refurbished by hand. That means it’s really light and airy inside with really high ceilings. We are extremely confident that it will look stunning when it’s finished.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground