Town-centre landmark renovated to boost Kirkby’s economy

Ada Lovelace House in Kirkby, which has been turned into a hub for start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ada Lovelace House in Kirkby, which has been turned into a hub for start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The renovation of the former Ashfield District Council headquarters has created new, high-quality office space for businesses and given Kirkby’s economy a shot in the arm.

Although derelict for some time, Ada Lovelace House, on Urban Road, has always been a well-known landmark in the town. Now it has a fresh lease of life thanks to investment of £280,000.

Named after the poet Lord Byron’s daughter, the building has been transformed into 1,658 square feet of space for start-up businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises. The cost of the facelift was shared by the council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, which funds projects to create jobs across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Edd de Coverley, service director of place and communities at the council, said: “This is a fantastic addition to Kirkby town centre. The project will encourage new businesses to locate right in the heart of the town, creating jobs and boosting the economy of Ashfield.

“We are pleased that a number of businesses are already showing interest and look forward to welcoming them in the next few months.”

David Ralph, chief executive of D2N2, said: “There is a clear appetite for small-business space in Ashfield. It is important that all areas benefit from investment and growth.”

Ada Lovelace House, which will be officially opened in October, now offers seven offices with shared communal space and open-plan meeting areas.

The renovation was carried out by Edwinstowe-based construction company, Robert Woodhead Ltd, who took on 14 local youngsters in work-experience placements to help out. Woodhead’s team leader Mark Maisey said: “There is a skills gap looming over the construction industry, so we need to inspire the next generation of builders.”

“We’re pleased with the work we’ve done. Taking a building in a state of disrepair and bringing it up to modern standards, fit to support businesses, was a rewarding project to work on.