Open for new businesses

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A Kirkby landmark has been transformed into a centre for fledgling businesses.

Ada Lovelace House, on Urban Road, Kirkby, has just undergone a £280,000 renovation turning it from a disused police station into seven spaces for local start-up businesses and small to medium-sized enterprises.

The house was opened on Tuesday, October 10, which is Ada Lovelace Day who the house was named after.

She was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, a pioneer in the world of maths and is now known as the first computer programmer.

She is buried next to her father at St Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall.

Councillor Cheryl Butler, Ashfield District Council leader, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to officially open the building on Ada Lovelace day.

“The redevelopment represents a fantastic addition to Kirkby town centre, and to the Ashfield district as a whole.

“Ada Lovelace was a real pioneer in the world of mathematics.

“I hope her name and legacy will inspire many more people in the future.”

The project was funded with £140,000 from the D2N2 local enterprise partnership’s local growth fund allocation and £140,000 from the council.

The renovation works were carried out by Edwinstowe-based construction firm Robert Woodhead which offered work experience to 14 young people while at the site.

David Ralph, D2N2 chief executive, said: “There is a clear appetite for small business spaces across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

“Ada Lovelace House, along with other projects we are helping to create, such as the Sutton Market renovations, is a means to help meet that need.”

The building offers seven offices with shared communal space and open-plan meeting areas.

Five offices are currently occupied, with the remaining two being marketed.

Caroline Cox, operations director at Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 business development group, said: “This is a great initiative to support and nurture business start-ups.”

“ By providing cost effective office solutions in an environment for growth, we are putting our district at the forefront of economic prosperity.”