Plans to build a new enterprise centre, which could create up to 150 jobs a year, have been given the go-ahead.
Plans for the creation of a three storey enterprise centre, to be located on the new Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park in Great Notley, were approved last week after proposals met the criteria of the planning framework (known as a Local Development Order) adopted for the site last year.
The centre aims to support local start-ups as well as help small businesses innovate, develop and grow.
The ambition 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 centre also include an event space with a roof terrace overlooking the countryside and country park. A café or restaurant, with a plaza area, will serve employees working at the park and residents living in the local area.
The facility will be built to high environmental standards using innovative construction techniques and modern materials. 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.
Building work is expected to start early spring.
Cllr John McKee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “We are creating a modern and energy efficient centre with workspaces and facilities which will encourage collaboration and deliver innovation. This is an investment which will improve prospects for small businesses, create quality jobs for residents and help with the recovery of the local economy. To get to this stage, in less than six months, is a tribute to the project team and a significant achievement.”
Gareth Mason, Divisional Director at Stride Treglown Architects, said: “Once completed, the Enterprise Centre will provide varied and flexible workspaces for the sustainable growth of local businesses in a quality environment sensitively designed to foster wellbeing and collaboration. Businesses based here will share state of the art facilities to work, make, meet, and share whilst feeling closely connected to carefully landscaped grounds that blend into the verdant Great Notley Park.”
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.