The leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council has welcomed the Government’s decision to award £2m funding that will help to deliver up to 2000 new jobs in Haverhill.
The Government has this morning granted a £2m joint bid by the New Anglia and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnerships towards the £5.4m cost of ‘the Epicentre’, the Innovation Centre at Haverhill Research Park, which could now be open by September 2015. The money has been awarded from Government Strategic Economic Funding, designed to unlock jobs and growth.
St Edmundsbury works in partnership with Forest Heath District Council, under the banner of West Suffolk.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which has been working on bringing the Haverhill Research Park to fruition said: “West Suffolk has a strong track record of delivering successful projects and getting the job done.
“We have lead from the front, investing our own money and putting in every effort to secure the additional necessary support to deliver new and better jobs and a sustainable business community.
“I would like to thank the New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnerships for working so well with us and for sharing our commitment to Haverhill and its leading role in providing employment, investment and the future prosperity for West Suffolk where it is such an important town.”
Nic Rumsey, Director of Carisbrooke Investments said: “We only got detailed planning a week ago and are delighted to have agreed a joint venture with St Edmundsbury/West Suffolk, which together with the Government / LEP funding will see the Epicentre brought to fruition in superfast time. We see the Epicentre of the landmark hub of the Research Park providing facilities for start up and growing businesses.”
The Epicentre will include high specification offices and dry R&D accommodation as well as conference and meeting rooms, training facilities, and a coffee shop.
There will be a work hub for shared working, allowing people to ‘hot desk’ renting a desk for an hour, day, weekly or monthly. There will be up to 52 individual office suites from 184 sq ft upwards.
Businesses using the hub will also benefit from company support designed to boost business growth, business advice, broadband internet access and networking facilities. It has received planning approval from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, contractor proposals are expected during August and the building will be finished by September next year.
Grahame Nix, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership said:
“Haverhill Research Park is ideally located to provide much needed new innovation space for a range of pioneering businesses looking to start-up and grow. Its location close to Cambridge - the globally renowned innovation capital - means that we can help to expand the positive impact of the Cambridge phenomenon beyond the city boundaries enabling the wider economy to flourish.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said:
“There is great potential to grow the number of high tech businesses in West Suffolk. The Innovation Centre will be a flagship building and a catalyst for the rapid development of the wider research park. It is a great vote of confidence in the project that we have secured this funding from Government.”