Building work is underway at Braintree’s new £14.7million enterprise and innovation centre

Building work on an enterprise and innovation centre, which could create up to 150 jobs a year, is underway and progressing to plan.

The centre, designed for start-ups and small businesses, is being built at the new Horizon 120 Business & Innovation Park located just off the A131 in Great Notley.

Members and partners met with representatives from construction company Kier to examine the building work accomplished to date. Since construction work started in May, the ground has been levelled and the foundations to the building put in place. The building is starting to take shape after the completion of the steel frame.

The three-storey energy-efficient complex, when complete, will offer shared meeting rooms, flexible work spaces, conference and training facilities and offices for smaller businesses to grow.

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 serve employees working at the park and residents living in the local area.

The £14.7 million project is being paid for in part by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership which has allocated £7 million towards the scheme from the Government’s Getting Building Fund. The £7.7 million balance is being paid for by the Council.

The centre will form part of a business park which offers high quality distribution and manufacturing spaces.

If the building work continues as planned, completion is expected by summer 2022.

Cllr Kevin Bowers, Cabinet Member for Housing, Assets and Skills at Braintree District Council, said: “We have begun the exciting work of creating a modern and flexible workplace which will help small businesses collaborate, innovate and grow. Our investment into this innovative centre will increase opportunities for local businesses, create hundreds of quality jobs and generate the momentum needed to help the local economy bounce back from the impacts of this pandemic. It will be an asset to the business park and to the local area for many years to come.”

Mark Dady, Managing Director at Kier Regional Building Eastern, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be continuing our relationship with Braintree District Council with the construction of Horizon 120, which follows the ongoing success of our Victoria Square project in the centre of Braintree, due to complete later this year. We work extremely hard to leave a positive footprint on the areas we work in, and both projects will greatly benefit Braintree by providing new facilities and employment opportunities for the community.”

South East Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Christian Brodie said: “We are delighted to see the progress on this project, our Getting Building Fund is aimed at supporting economic growth, post pandemic and this new enterprise centre will provide modern workspace with the amenities needed to cater to a hybrid model of working with quality, contemporary space, which is exactly what is needed.

Horizon 120 is a great location offering space to local businesses but also those who need connections to Stansted and beyond. We are pleased to be able to support this project and look forward to new innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups moving into this smart, purpose-built space to grow their businesses, collaborate effectively, and boost the local economy with inward investment and new jobs.”