Plans for a multi-million-pound enterprise centre in Raunds which is set to create up to 400 jobs are moving apace.
Wharf Park Industrial estate has been revealed as the earmarked site for the scheme which is being brought forward under East Northamptonshire Council’s economic development plan.
The three-storey 2,500m sq centre will be a hub for 90 start-up businesses and it is anticipated it will open towards the end of 2019 or early 2020.
East Northamptonshire Council is currently applying for £4m grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund and will put up to £4m from its own funds towards the development of the centre.
Cllr Lance Jones who represents the Raunds Saxon Ward has welcomed the development.
He said:“We know there is a need for a centre such as this because Enterprise Way, which helps support a number of local businesses, is now full and there is demand for more space.
“This will be a great place for businesses that perhaps start from home and then want to take the next step. It is part of the rebalancing of Wharf Park, away from large warehousing and logistics, which I think is necessary.”
The centre will offer business training and act as hub for local businesses.
The project looks set to be based off the A45 on a 1.15 hectare site at the entrance to the Warth Park industrial estate. The development will also include a single-storey workshop building.
In a contract tender document the council stated: “The ENEC will provide 27,000 sq ft [2,500m²] of lettable modern, flexible, managed business space and play a critical role in delivering the council’s support for SMEs. Located at the entrance of Warth Park, the ENEC will provide a catalyst for supporting the development and growth of new and start-up businesses. This “landmark” building will set the standards for future ENC development projects and commissions.”
The authority expects the project to deliver £25m for the local economy.