A MULTI-million pound development of Taunton's former livestock market site looks closer to becoming a reality following a planning application to build a digital innovation site.

The centre, on land adjacent to Trenchard Way and north of Canal Road, has the potential to kickstart the Firepool project on the market site, which has been vacant for almost 13 years.

Somerset County Council's proposals include premises with 3,000 square metres of floor space featuring offices, meeting rooms, flexible collaboration work spaces, reception, cafe and temporary parking.

A second phase would see would see a further 2,000sq m of floor space with similar uses for the digital innovation centre.

The application says: "The new digital innovation centre for Taunton will serve as a multipurpose business centre aimed at catalysing commercial innovation and collaboration.

"It will be a highly digitally enabled facility, combining flexible office space and meeting rooms with a set of collaboration, learning and social space.

"Fully equipped for on-site functions, the centre would also provide larger spaces for workshops and investor events – the perfect expansion environment for businesses where digital innovation and geospatial data are growth catalysts."

All previous buildings on the 0.24 hectare brownfield site opposite Taunton Station have already been demolished

Outline planning permission for mixed use has already been granted for the 7.2 hectare Firepool regeneration site

A Local Development Order is currently being prepared to speed up the delivery of that scheme, which could contain shops, offices, leisure facilities including a cinema, pubs and restaurants, up to 200 homes and public realm space.

The Government has pledged £5.5million towards the digital innovation centre.