ISG has begun the construction of Warrington Council's £8.5m business incubator building, part of the £190m Stadium Quarter scheme.
The incubator is the first project within the Stadium Quarter to start on site. A second scheme, the £10m University Technical College, is set to begin in the coming weeks. The two facilities are designed to be complementary and are being built next to one another in Dallam Lane in the centre of the town.
The incubator will provide work space specifically aimed at start-up businesses.
The five-storey building will feature a café at ground floor level, with offices and research and development facilities on the upper floors.
Dame Tessa Jowell MP marked the start of the scheme in an official ground breaking ceremony alongside Warrington Council leaders on Friday 5 September.
Funding has come from a £1.7m European Regional Development Fund grant and £6.7m investment from Warrington Council.
When the facility is operational in summer 2015, it is expected to be capable of supporting up to 100 small businesses.
The Stadium Quarter scheme was announced by Warrington Council in March 2013 and is a joint venture with the Iliad Group. The project will connect the bus interchange with the Warrington Wolves' Halliwell Jones Stadium and create a mixed-use development comprising educational, business, leisure and housing.
Cllr Terry O'Neill, leader of Warrington Council, said: "This is an historic day for Warrington. This start on site will not only provide a first class base in which new businesses can develop and grow, and Warrington is recognised as the number one location outside of London for business start-ups, but it is also marks the start on site of Stadium Quarter."
Construction management of the incubator is being led by Faithful + Gould, part of the Atkins group. Falconer Chester Hall is the architect.
Warrington & Co will project manage the development.