Contracts were exchanged with Kier after it won a bid to build the centre. The construction company was chosen after its competitive bid and innovative approach to the build. The contract was awarded after a tender process.

The enterprise centre will be based at the new Horizon 120 business and innovation park being built off the A131 in Great Notley.

The three-storey centre will offer shared meeting rooms, flexible work spaces, conference and training facilities and offices for smaller businesses to grow into. The modern facility will be built to high environmental standards using innovative construction techniques and modern materials. The design of the building means that it will be highly energy efficient when in use.

The 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. Dominic Collins, Corporate Director of Growth at Braintree District Council, said: “The appointment of a main contractor is a major step forward for this project. Kier’s experience will help us create a modern and eco-friendly building which will generate opportunities for small businesses and create hundreds of jobs for local residents. We look forward to work starting on site imminently.”

Mark Dady, Managing Director at Kier Regional Building Eastern, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have been appointed to deliver this scheme. The sustainable design of the building highlights how we can help our clients achieve their sustainability aims, through the projects we deliver. Our appointment to this scheme follows the ongoing success of our Victoria Square Regeneration project which is due to complete later this year. 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: “As businesses reassess how they work following the pandemic, spaces such as this enterprise centre will be vital to our changing business landscape. They will provide modern workspace with the amenities needed to cater to a hybrid model of working. We are delighted to be supporting this project, which will give opportunities to entrepreneurs and start-ups, foster innovation and provide an energy efficient space for businesses to collaborate and grow.”

Building work is expected to start later this month. The enterprise centre is part of a business park, being developed in collaboration with The Marshgate Group, which offers high quality office, distribution and manufacturing spaces.