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Summers Inman and NORR - the team that supported the redevelopment of the award winning Bus Station - have been appointed by BEC to refurbish the former Whittles furniture store in Whitehaven.

L to R: Andrew Finn, John Harvey, Summers Inman. George Gifford, LinkMEP. Gemma Leadbetter,  Sam Beardmore, BEC.  Steve Mounter, NORR. Michael Pemberton, Bill Graham, BEC.

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Design and Project Team appointed for Whittles development

We have appointed Summers Inman and NORR as key design and project partners to begin the redevelopment of the Digital and Gaming Hub, a space that will unlock digital and creative opportunities in West Cumbria.

Transformative Collaboration

We are going to transform the derelict town centre building in Whitehaven into a state-of-art digital and gaming hub, with the ongoing support of the trusted architects at NORR and project management consultants Summers Inman.

Set to open in summer 2025 the digital and gaming hub will include a digital recording studio, cafe, esports and VR area and green screens that will be supported by several local partners in the former furniture store building on Duke Street in Whitehaven’s town centre.

"An exciting journey... ahead"

Our Chief Executive, Michael Pemberton said: “It’s with great pleasure we announce the appointment of NORR and Summers Inman respectively to the digital and gaming hub project in Whitehaven. BEC has a well-established relationship with both companies, and they have a track record of delivering for us.

“This project to transform the former Whittles department store is of great importance to BEC and our local community. I have every faith that the knowledge, resource, and expertise NORR and Summers Inman bring to the table will enable a smooth, efficient, and well-executed scheme alongside our talented in-house team at BEC. An exciting journey and programme are ahead.”

"Revitalising important local buildings"

Architect & Director at NORR, Robin Stewart said: “Redeveloping this listed building is another vital step in sustainably revitalising important local buildings to benefit the Whitehaven community. Following the successful transformation of The Bus Station, we are delighted to continue our collaboration with BEC and Summers Inman to design and deliver the Digital and Gaming Hub.

“This is a tremendously exciting project that will not only act as a social hub for young people in the area, but also to act as a catalyst for digital, gaming and training sectors and offer potential new career paths and opportunities.”

These two appointments come following £4 million pounds of funding recently being secured from Sellafield, BT and BEC themselves.

Associate Director at Summers Inman, John Harvey added: “Summers Inman are delighted to be part of the team delivering a Digital and Gaming Hub within a Grade II listed building in the heart of Whitehaven’s town centre. Working with the full BEC delivery team and our fellow Design Consultants, the Hub will provide essential training and upskilling to encourage the development of future digital and tech leaders

“Summers Inman continue to provide Project Management, Cost Consultancy and Principal Designer duties and cement the great working relationship we have with BEC, gained through previous projects and we definitely want to be part of the ambitious and exciting plans for the future of Whitehaven and Cumbria.”

Construction is predicted to start in summer later this year.


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