Jobs boost as £1.2million Highbridge Enterprise Centre moves forward (From This is The West Country)
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Jobs boost as £1.2million Highbridge Enterprise Centre moves forward
A £1.2million project to bring dozens of jobs and a ‘feelgood factor’ back to Burnham and High-bridge has taken a major leap forward.
Plans for the Highbridge Enterprise Centre, to be built on a site at the Isle-port Business Park, were announced early last year but delays caused by red tape meant the Government cash for the project has only now been released.
The centre will comprise two buildings – one for industrial and one for office-based jobs – housing ten start-up businesses which will get access to superfast broadband and support from a business mentor.
The Government is giving £850,000 to the project, with the rest coming from Somerset County Council.
The Weekly News can reveal the council is set to approve a contractor for the project in October, and then submit a planning application. If agreed, work could then begin and the units would open this time next year.
County council deputy leader David Hall said: “There was a lot of extra bureaucracy before the Government handed the money across but we are now hoping to start this autumn.
“It’s been said for some time that Highbridge needs more employment – quality and sustainable employment. This is a big boost for the Burnham and Highbridge area.”
Cllr Hall said several businesses had expressed interest in moving in, adding: “It’s been a while in coming but it’s coming at just the right time.”
Highbridge county councillor John Woodman said the enterprise centre could inspire a new generation of young entrepreneurs in the Burnham and Highbridge area.
He said: “It’s enormously important.
“The one thing we need, I believe above all else, is jobs. Anything we can do to create jobs, particularly in Highbridge, is vastly important.
“It will create a feelgood factor. When people see other people being successful, they think ‘I can do the same’. “Hopefully people, particularly the younger generation, will be inspired to start up their own businesses.”
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