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Hopes of Biggin Street premises for Dover start-up traders after closure of Co-Innovation centre in Dover

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Hopes have been raised that 25 traders in start-up businesses will have a new base in October.

They lost their last home, the Co-Innovation Centre,in Stembrook, Dover, on August 13 after the lease ran out.

But Martina White, project director, now told Kent Online: "We are at the late stages of negotiations for another base, at a property in Biggin Street, so we are close to having somewhere else to go.

"The glass is half full. I am confident we will be able to move there."

Final terms also have to be settled for the leaving of the former site, at Stembrook, with owners Dover District Council.

Ms White said it was hoped that traders could move to the new centre by early October and trade there from the middle of that month.

Trading could meanwhile be done online.

Co-Innovation project manager Martina White. Picture: Sam Lennon
Co-Innovation project manager Martina White. Picture: Sam Lennon

A spokesman for Dover District Council said: “We can confirm that the Co-Innovation Centre at Stembrook closed on 13 August. DDC continues to work alongside the operators to find suitable new premises from which to continue their work.

“The former Co-op building at Stembrook will now be demolished in due course as part of a redevelopment of this area of the town.”

The Co-operative foodstore there closed in 2017, The Co-Innovation enterprise replaced it in 2019 as an incubation centre for fledgling businesses.

Once they grew they would set up on their own in high street premises, several of which have remained empty for years.

Eight enterprises successfully did this.

The centre was set up with Dover Big Local and the building was let by the council on a peppercorn rent.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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