Braintree enterprise centre’s £1.4m expansion aims to ignite start-ups

From left, Kevin Bentley of Essex County Council, Liz Storey of Ignite, Tom Cunningham of Braintree

From left, Kevin Bentley of Essex County Council, Liz Storey of Ignite, Tom Cunningham of Braintree District Council and Nigel Harley of Ignite. - Credit: Archant

An Essex enterprise centre which aims to help business start-ups has expanded following £1.4m worth of public investment.

Ignite House, located next to an existing enterprise centre, is made up of 11 new purpose built business units on Springwood Drive in Braintree.

It includes office space, training and conference facilities, a shared reception, parking spaces and business advice and support.

Its aim is to support more than 250 new business start-ups in the next three years.

Braintree District Council invested nearly £870,000 towards building the extension and contributed land worth a further £250,000. Essex County Council contributed an additional £300,000.

Last month, Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP visited the site.

Cllr Tom Cunningham, cabinet member for economic development at Braintree District Council, said: “New businesses are the heart of our local economy and provide innovation and jobs that benefit us all. We’ve a proud record of supporting businesses to grow. Last year, through Ignite we supported 80 business start-ups but we know that there is demand for more space and that is why we and the County Council are proud to invest in this facility.”

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Ignite Business is a not for profit organisation which supports new and existing businesses.

Liz Storey, chief executive at Ignite, said: “The additional facilities give us a fantastic opportunity to increase the startup and business support to the Braintree District, this much needed purpose built facility will enable us to support more than 250 business startups over the next 3 years, plus help other businesses grow.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth at Essex County Council, said: “The new enterprise centre will provide support to hundreds of local businesses in the coming years. Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in this way will create new jobs and lead to economic growth for the area. We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Braintree District Council and Ignite to show that Essex Means Business.”