BEC acquired the landmark former Whittles Building in the Heart of Whitehaven in Mid-2021.
Our vision for this grade 2 listed key building is to restore the exterior to its former glory and transform the space into a Digital and Gaming Hub. This will provide both opportunity and inspiration for our young people to pursue careers in these high growth sectors.
The Hub will work in conjunction with the Eagle Labs at our Bus Station development. This will offer wider business mentoring to any young people looking to progress into any aspect of the digital industries.
The space will provide a public accessible café on the ground floor to offer a safe venue for a vibrant young digital community.
This will be combined with esports/arcade gaming areas. The first floor will focus on VR and simulation games, the second floor will
offer educational facilities for use by local schools, colleges and interest groups. These will include motion capture and digital sound, with a top floor ‘screenless’ wind-down zone with a roof top terrace.
The building will be fully DDA accessible, and the safety and security of the young people will be ensured via a low cost ‘membership’ scheme to control access to the gaming areas and age-related content.
Planning and listed building approval was secured late 2021 and we are currently working on the detailed design before going out to tender for the main contractor. It is envisaged the Hub will open mid-2024.