A £1m cluster of workshops for artists at Burton Manor College, south Wirral, has been opened by the University of Chester and the North West Development Agency.
The NWDA Rural Recovery Fund met part of the cost of converting the college's courtyards and surrounding areas into small premises for start-up rural arts and crafts businesses.
The centre, named Atelier, was opened by Cheshire-born entrepreneur and partner of BiG Storage, Andrew Donaldson.
Atelier will also offer classes and short courses in contemporary and traditional arts and crafts as well as providing business support.
Peter White, executive director of development at the NWDA, said: "It is vital that entrepreneurs can access the support they need to start new sustainable businesses in the North West."