This is an exciting time for innovative businesses in the digital economy as the brand new purpose-built Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation (FCDI) is set to officially open its doors in Taunton.

Owned and operated by Somerset Council, FCDI has already successfully held a number of events where lucky delegates were able to get a preview of the impressive facilities.

FCDI has been made possible after successfully securing more than £7.3m of external ring-fenced funding including European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (£1.69 million) in addition to HM Government’s Getting Building Funding (£5.45 million) and Growth Deal funding (£235k). This is in addition to a £3.6m investment from Somerset Council which was secured ahead of the creation of the unitary council. The modern and inspiring innovation centre will offer grade A office suites, co-working, collaboration and event space over four floors.

Cllr Ros Wyke, Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets at Somerset Council, said:

“FCDI forms part of our £40 million network of innovation centres across the county, delivered largely through external funding and operated at nil cost to the Council. The fact that we have, once again, successfully secured such significant external funding underlines our commitment to supporting innovation in Somerset’s key growth sectors.

“The centre will 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 businesses in Somerset.”

FCDI will offer businesses an array of facilities including a dedicated audio-visual podcast room, ultrafast broadband and video conferencing. It also acts an inspirational place to host conferences having already accommodated a number of events including a cyber security conference hosted by the SW Cyber Resilience Centre, the SW Infrastructure Partnership’s annual conference and a Tech South West AI network evening. The success of these events illustrates the need for this kind of facility in Somerset.

Dan Pritchard, Founder of Tech South West said:

“Our recent AI South West event at The Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation worked really well. There was a great energy, the set up was ideal for networking and lightning talks. Being right next to the station was good, especially when we had people from across the region attending.

“It’s bang in the centre and has a great open space, good tech – it’s all kitted out. It’s a good location for events and I’m sure for innovative companies looking for a home and hub to be part of.”

FCDI sits on the northern edge of the Firepool development site which is designed to support the revitalisation and regeneration of Taunton town centre. Somerset Council have now awarded a contract to develop the land immediately adjacent to FCDI – known as the Northern Boulevard – with work due to start in March 2024. The work will include the boulevard alongside FCDI from Trenchard Way to Canal Road, public realm around the existing buildings/plots and linking the new Trenchard Way junction to Canal Road.

Towards the end of April there will be a number of tours so that prospective tenants and anyone interested in using the centre can view the facilities. Information about the tours will be publicised in the near future but anyone interested in finding out more about the centre should visit or email

Photo of the exterior of the FCDI

About this article

April 8, 2024

David Blackwell

Press Release