The news was announced this week by Local Growth Minister, Andrew Percy, who announced a government cash injection of £102 million for capital projects for the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock, with seven projects across Greater Essex set to benefit.
Southend Council has secured nearly one-fifth of the entire allocation across the SELEP area, and the funding will allow for a new Innovation Centre to be built on the ABPS site, which is owned by Southend Council, but located within the Rochford District.
Leader of Southend Council, Cllr John Lamb, welcomed the funding announcement, praising the work that the council put in to achieve this level of funding. He said: “This is fantastic news and further proof that Southend-on-Sea continues to punch above its weight when it comes to bidding for external funding.
“For the Borough to receive nearly one-fifth of all available funding for the South East of England is a great achievement and testament to the hard work that we have been doing to make this development a reality. More importantly this will help us to deliver the Innovation Centre at Airport Business Park and the final enabling infrastructure works with our partners Henry Boot Developments. The Innovation Centre will be the heart of the Business Park and will create an exciting modern environment for young and growing businesses to locate into flexible and serviced office and workshop space which can grow with their business.”
Rochford District Council also welcomed the news for the new business park.
Leader Cllr Terry Cutmore said: “This is great news for the Business Park, it is an exciting project which will really put the Rochford District on the map.
“This funding will help to provide over one million square feet of new floor space available for businesses wanting to locate to the area, and thousands of new jobs accessible to local communities.
“It is envisaged that the new Business Park will become renowned as a leading regional centre for the science, medical and technology sectors and deliver benefits for both our local businesses and local communities.
“Once completed, we envisage this development will create thousands of job opportunities for local people, attract inward investment and bring lasting prosperity to the region”.
Any businesses interested in opportunities at Airport Business Park Southend should contact the retained commercial agents Dedman Gray on 01702 311111 or Kemsley on 01268 532425.