Published: September 25, 2013
Multi-million pound plans for Highbridge Enterprise Centre unveiled

Multi-million pound plans to build a new business centre in Highbridge have been formally submitted to Sedgemoor District Council this week.

The 'enterprise centre' for small businesses has been earmarked for land next to Highbridge's Isleport Recyling Centre and could create scores of new jobs.

It is one of several regional projects being backed by Devon and Somerset's Rural Growth Network which aims to create more than 1,300 jobs and boost the south west's economy by £58 million.

The Highbridge proposal is to build a new two-storey building with office units available for new business ventures, plus an additional single-storey industrial building and car parking.

The area of the development site is approximately 1.29 acres. Around 220 square metres will be for light industrial space, plus 130 square metres for office space, and a further 130 square metres for business 'incubation' space.

Caroline Spelman, the government's former Secretary of State for the Environment, visited the site in May 2012, as pictured here, when the scheme was initially discussed.

The planning application has now been formally submitted and is set to be fully considered by the Town Council and district council in coming weeks.

Highbridge county councillor Cllr John Woodman told this week: "We are very excited for Highbridge that the plans have been formally submitted and that the proposals look really great."

"I understand there has already been some of interest from several small businesses who are keen to take up office space in the centre, so demand is already beginning to show."

He added: "Providing the planning application gets approved to schedule then the centre will be fully completed over the next 9-12 months and be opened at the end of next year."

The project aims to help small 'back room' businesses gain office space in order to expand their operations and create local jobs.

"This is great news for Highbridge and demonstrates what an ideal location the town is for business," added Cllr Woodman.

The applicants say: "The proposal at Highbridge can accommodate employment development and meeting the needs of small growing businesses and local start-ups to stimulate local enterprise and capture the talent of local entrepreneurs."

"The Council's Employment Land Review identifies the existing Isleport Business Park as a focus for such development and also highlights the potential for its expansion to meet the additional employment land requirements identified in the spatial strategy."


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