£14.7million allocated to new enterprise centre in Braintree

Plans to create a new enterprise centre in Braintree take another step forward as £14.7 million is earmarked for its development.

Members approved the budget at a meeting of Braintree District Council’s Full Council last month (5 October). On Friday, 20 November, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership approved the business case and will officially allocate £7 million towards the scheme from the government’s Getting Building Fund.

The three-storey centre will be located at the new Horizon 120 business and innovation park being built off the A131 near Great Notley.

The centre will be built to support local start-ups as well as help small businesses innovate, develop and grow. It will be a place where businesses can collaborate, access support and advice and build-up knowledge and skills.

The aim is to create a state-of-the-art, energy efficient complex with shared meeting rooms, flexible work spaces, conference and training facilities and offices for smaller businesses to grow into.

Plans for the building include an event space which will be ideal for seminars, conferences and company celebrations. A café or restaurant, with a plaza area, will be provided and will serve employees working at the park and residents living in the local area.

This investment is intended to create up to 150 new jobs a year.

Building work on the new centre will begin early next year.

Cllr John McKee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “This state-of-the-art complex will be a great proposition for small and start-up businesses looking to grow and expand. Our commitment to this project shows that we are doing our part in creating jobs and building skills and generating the momentum needed to help our local economy recover in the wake of this pandemic.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “This is an exciting and innovative project which will not only encourage business growth, but also beyond that provide long term business support to enable that growth. This investment will lead to a wider residual benefit which will benefit the local area for many years to come.”

The enterprise centre is one of 14 projects in Essex to have received funding via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership from the government’s Getting Building Fund.