THE Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation in Taunton has officially opened, with hot-desk working spaces and a podcast studio available to book.

The £11 million Digital Innovation Centre opened on Thursday, May 30. Inside, the 2,493-square-metre innovation facility has vast office spaces that can be rented to eligible companies in the digital sector.

A co-working space allows digital and data-led companies to pay by the desk in a collaborative space.

Members of the public can use the space’s hotdesks (£15 a day + VAT), open from 8am-4pm, and the podcast studio (£20 per hour, rate negotiable for repeat bookings) which can be booked on the FCDI’s website on a pay-as-you-go basis,

Somerset County Gazette: Taunton's Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation, now officially open.Taunton's Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation, now officially open. (Image: Somerset Council)

Just a two-minute walk from Taunton’s train station, the FCDI could act as a “meeting point” for businesses across the South West. At the official opening were Somerset businesses including Exmoor-based Snugs, a 7-figure business with patented custom-earplug technology.

Other businesses planning to use the centre include AutonoMe, a Taunton-based company with an app that helps people live independently, and Telet, which offers high-speed internet in poorly connected areas.

Speaking at the opening, Jane Purdy head of enterprise at Business West, said: “The FCDI will encourage businesses to relocate to Somerset, or international companies to set up a UK presence in Taunton.”

Somerset Council’s website states: “The Centre is designed to drive innovation-led growth in the digital sector, create and safeguard jobs, and provide small and medium-sized businesses with the right support to grow their companies in Somerset.

“The capital funding for the construction and fit-out of the Centre was secured from the European Union Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and HM Government’s Getting Building Fund.”