Former Whitehaven Furniture Store Could Have New Future As Gaming Hub Thanks To Potential BEC Project

By Rachael Grealish

Whitehaven could soon be known for its modern opportunities alongside its rich history as a potential project with BEC could bring a ‘one of a kind’ digital gaming hub to the town. 

A three-day public consultation into the redevelopment of the former Whittles complex on Duke Street, in Whitehaven, will take place in November, to kickstart the project and is a chance for the community to have their say in the plans.

Projections of what the new gaming hub could look like on Duke Street

The project, which will be brought to fruition by BEC, aims to support and encourage the growth of the younger generation and their modern skill sets, with a ‘futuristic development’, said the BEC CEO, Michael Pemberton. 

Michael said: “I made a commitment to people when we bought Whittles, that it will be a development for people who may feel overlooked, I feel purposeful and absolutely committed to creating this futuristic development.”

“It’s really important that we build a community, one where Gen Z feel welcome, supported and encouraged to grow their skills, showcase their talent, have fun and be part of something special.”

Although the project is looking at futuristic growth, Michael said the identity, character and history of the town and it’s building will remain strong. 

“BEC has an ambition and purpose to create environments and locations where people can succeed, attracting inward investment opportunities and creating more prosperous communities,” he continued. 

“With the recent redevelopment of the Bus Station, we’ve shown how our heritage buildings – key to our identity, with character and personality of their own – can be conserved with a creative and viable proposition by making sure they serve new communities in relevant and exciting ways.”

The building as it currently stands in Whitehaven

“At the consultation, we want to spark the public’s interest and excitement, and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing their thoughts.” 

The event, which will go ahead at the Beacon Portal, in Whitehaven, will not only be for members of the community to give their opinion, but actively take part in too.

Attendees will be able to take part in live interactive virtual reality games and engage with a digitally focused event, thanks to Carlisle based firm VR Gateway.

The consultation is open to the public, local schools, and businesses – with the team at BEC particularly keen to hear from those aged between 11 and 21.

They want to understand what the younger generation would like to see inside the building, what their key interests in the world of digital and gaming are, their favourite industry brands and how they’d like to be involved.

The consultation will run from November 9 to 11 and will be held at the Beacon Portal in Whitehaven. 

To register for the event visit