Work to begin on innovation hub in Pentagon Centre, Chatham

21 March 2024In Chatham2 Minutes
A CGI of the new Pentagon innovation hub. Photo: Ascend

Construction of new offices in Chatham’s Pentagon Centre begins next month.

Medway Council is set to redevelop part of the shopping centre’s first floor into an innovation hub, named Ascend, for start-ups and growing businesses.

It will offer co-working spaces, private offices and meeting rooms when it opens this autumn.

First floor of the Pentagon Centre as currently
A CGI showing the Pentagon's new innovation hub. Photo: Ascend

Services including high-speed broadband, free business support, events and networking opportunities will also be provided.

The 14,325 sq ft hub is being delivered as part of the council’s multi-million-pound improvements to the Pentagon – which include an NHS health centre.

Asbestos removal has already been completed with the main building works starting in April.

The council hopes the hub will create 242 jobs within three years of opening, as well as 20 new start-ups a year.

It also expects a major boost to the Pentagon’s footfall, with 1,000 new visitors expected every month.

The former D&A Toys store set to become an innovation hub

Workspace specialist Edgility, in partnership with Kiln, will run the hub and manage bookings on the council’s behalf.

A budget of £3,811,366 has been set aside for the creation of the hub.

This includes £1.7 million from the government’s Future High Streets Fund, £1,811,366 from Medway Council and a £300,000 grant from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Cllr Lauren Edwards, portfolio holder for economic and social regeneration and inward investment, said: “This is an exciting milestone in the regeneration of Chatham, and brilliant news for Medway’s diverse business economy.

“This important project will give Medway’s small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs room to grow, increase productivity and unlock their potential.”

Mukesh Sharma, director at Edgility, said: “We are committed to creating a vibrant business and entrepreneurial hub. Offering access to premium facilities, a supportive community, and be part of the initiative aimed at the regeneration and prosperity of Medway.”

Enquiries for office space are now being taken and further information can be found on Ascend’s website here.