Haverhill will become home to a new Innovation Centre after £2 million of investment was secured today by the Local Enterprise Partnerships (Monday 7th July 2014).
The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (GCGP) and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) applied for funding via the Government's Growth Deal, which provides funding for projects designed to boost the economy across the country.
In total, £2 million of investment will go directly towards the creation of the new £5.4 million Innovation Centre located at Haverhill Research Park which has recently been granted planned consent.
Known as The Epicentre, the 30,000 sq ft four-storey innovation centre will create a landmark development adjacent to the lake in the centre of the park and providing facilities for start-up and growing businesses, with a focus on the ICT, bio-tech and Agri-Tech sectors. It will include high specification offices and dry R&D accommodation as well as conference and meeting rooms, training facilities, and a coffee shop.
With an anticipated completion date of next year, The Epicentre could create up to 300 jobs providing a significant boost to the local economy.
This is not the first time both LEPs have invested in Haverhill Research Park, having provided loan financing to the owners, Carisbrooke Investments, to enable the early delivery of the access road which in turn unlocked the site for both housing and employment use. This funding has already been paid back and the road is complete.
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."
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 West Suffolk, which together with the Government funding secured by our LEPs 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."
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, added:
"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."
Growth Deal funding will be available to spend from April 2015. This allocation is the first of five years of funding committed by Government to support local economic growth.
Chief Executive - Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership