A new £1.16m centre built by Somerset County Council to champion high growth enterprises and drive business investment gets its grand opening on March 25th.

The recently-completed Highbridge Enterprise Centre at Isleport Business Park is the newest addition to the Council’s portfolio of centres aimed at promoting business growth.

Businesses Solec and Keith Cappa Photography will move into the Highbridge Centre in March.

The Highbridge Enterprise Centre comprises three modern light industrial units, flexible office space and meeting rooms, and is equipped with fibre optic broadband. New and expanding businesses based at the Centre will be able to access free advice through the South West Business Centres organisation, which manages the site on behalf of the County Council.

The Centre also hopes to attract business interest from outside the county – for example by maximising on opportunities presented by future, high-profile developments, such as EDF Energy’s proposed Hinkley Point C power station.

The project is jointly-funded by Somerset County Council and through the Rural Growth Network (RGN), which encourages economic growth and enterprise in rural areas. The Centre’s construction was completed both on schedule and within budget.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business and Inward Investment at Somerset County Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This impressive and modern Enterprise Centre is a fantastic resource and an emblem of this Council’s continued commitment to fuelling business innovation and investment in Somerset.”

“I am glad to say that in addition to the three tenants who are now moving into the Centre, we have received reservations for two of the offices. I am very much looking forward to the opening event on Wednesday 25 March.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “I am delighted to see the results of the Rural Growth Network offering great facilities for growing businesses. The easy-in and easy-out leasing options, as well as a low monthly overhead, will appeal to many businesses operating around Highbridge.”

“We expect local people working within the knowledge economy to be interested in benefitting from high quality workspace, free business support and the chance to network with like-minded individuals.”

Duncan McLean, Director of Solec, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “As a growing company, I need space to expand my business from an accessible location, just off the M5, so I am really pleased to be taking a unit at the Highbridge Enterprise Centre.”

Businesses interested in finding out more about how the Centre can benefit them can contact Adrian Sheen on 07919 696939 or by email at info@swbusinesscentres.co.uk

Caroline Spelman, the government’s former Secretary of State for the Environment, visited the site in May 2012, with Highbridge County Councillor John Woodman (pictured) when the scheme was first announced.

The Highbridge Innovation Suite will offer ten offices at 10 sq metres (108 sq ft) with a rental price per month of £250. Allocation of these spaces will be to early stage start-up businesses from non retail sectors.