HIGH quality jobs are being promised after funding was approved towards a digital innovation centre in Taunton.

Somerset County Council has agreed to provide some of the cash for the £11million scheme at the vacant former livestock market site.

The centre at Firepool will be a flagship development for the county town, building on local strengths in the digital sector.

It will also form a key part of plans for recovery and transformation of the Somerset economy, including the creation of high quality jobs.

The new 2,613 square-metre building will provide office, workshop, collaboration and meeting space over four floors, as well as specialist collaboration support services targeted at digital economy businesses.

The county council has now approved several recommendations to enable the project to go ahead.

It includes a funding agreement with Government for £1.7million of anticipated European funding, establishing lease arrangements and entering into a construction contract.

Construction works are expected to start in the autumn.

County Hall leader Cllr David Fothergill said: “I am delighted to sign off the delivery agreement to move forward with the new digital innovation centre in Taunton.

“This scheme will help Somerset meet the demand for high-quality business accommodation for digital businesses in Somerset.

“The centre will see a number of highly-skilled jobs created and contribute to improving economic productivity and prosperity in Somerset.”

Somerset County Council is working closely with Somerset West and Taunton Council on the project, and it is hoped the centre will be a hub for the county's growing digital economy and a catalyst for the development of the Firepool site, which has been unused since the market left in 2008.

The project has attracted funding from Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.