I just signed up to effective-alturism because I found a link to this post. I read what you wrote and thought it was an amazing idea. I also read the comments that seemed to be a little bit negative and prompted me to write a comment.
Firstly I think that giving people the space to work on projects is hugely valuable and people underestimate what can be done with the space just to work on a project.
Secondly, some of the comments are assuming this a cut-price alternative and everyone would really be better being in LDN / SF etc if cost were no obstacle. I would suggest you have a unique opportunity understand the context of the area and use the talent of the people involved to directly improve the place you are in. Making smaller towns in the UK more attractive places for young people to live in would be a huge service to mankind.