At the end of last month, it was confirmed contracts have now been exchanged and they are closer to starting work on the exciting new business and innovation park planned for the area.
There have already been enquiries from some prestigious companies, and the council predicts this site could lead to the creation of up to 2000 jobs.
The council have an ambitious vision for the new business park, which is to be called Horizon 120. They aim to attract a range of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, professional services companies and research, digital and development sectors. The location is likely to interest companies working with Stansted Airport.
Councillor Tom Cunningham, the Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Braintree District Council, expressed the hopes of the council that Horizon 120 will become a focal point for business in the region through its modernity. He explained the levels of interest have surprised them, and the ambition for the site reflects this. Horizon 120 is seen as a route to better skilled jobs for the local community, and there is a vision for life around the businesses located there.
The new business park is expected to also be home to a children’s day care centre and restaurants or cafes to meet the needs of all those employed within the site. The location, right next to Great Notley Country Park, also allows for leisure time to be spent outdoors – a further attraction for potential resident companies.
Braintree Council has plans to become financially independent by 2020, when funding for local authorities will be withdrawn by central government. Horizon 120 is a crucial part of the wider £100 million investment scheme to enable this independence. Another project within this investment is the Manor Street regeneration, which is currently awaiting planning permission. If granted this would see new health facilities, 35 new homes, a modernised bus interchange, a new hotel and a community garden with café, increasing footfall to the town centre.
The scheme also includes plans for improvements to Galleys Corner, a multimillion-pound project to build 200 new homes, a new Construction Research and Innovation Centre (I-CONSTRUCT), an enterprise centre in Witham and both a rural business hub and a healthcare facility in Sible Hedingham.
This large-scale investment and the wide-ranging new businesses expected in the area will all boost jobs in the region and lead to improvements to facilities for the community as a whole.