East Anglia: NWES enterprise centres to kick-start jobs bonanza
The economic importance of start up businesses to Norfolk and Suffolk has been underscored by a major investment to create four new enterprise centres and 1,000 jobs.
Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES) is accelerating plans to establish a £4m innovation centre in King’s Lynn alongside three start-up hubs in Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.
Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES, said the centres will target underserved areas with strong economic potential – including a demand for premises from the digital and creative industries in Norwich.
It comes after the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership recently signed off a £2.5m loan to King’s Lynn Borough Council to part fund the West Norfolk innovation centre which will be delivered by NWES.
Mr Horne, who is spearheading the investment drive, said: “Over the last 15 years we have proven that such centres have a significant impact on the locality including the creation of quality sustainable jobs.
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“We anticipate that this year alone NWES will create more than 1,000 jobs in the region. The successes of the centres and the exciting businesses that graduate from them have a positive impact by creating awareness of business opportunities and inspiring others to emulate that success. We are committed to providing a network of centres so that we can grow our local businesses and jobs and ensure that the profits remain in the local community rather than being repatriated elsewhere as is seen with inward investment and multinational companies.”
The new business centres have already opened at Rouen House in Norwich, Roseberry Court in Peterborough and Southgate Street in Bury St Edmunds, while the Kings Lynn Innovation Centre will open at the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area in late 2015. And NWES also confirmed that it was at the advanced stages of securing a second business centre in Norwich within the next few weeks.
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Josh Davies, pictured, founder of Norwich-based Future 50 technology company FX Home, said the move will help nurture the region’s technology start-up community. “This will provide them with the infrastructure they need to grow,” he said.
“You don’t have to put down a huge deposit and you have the advantage of an easy in, easy out, tenancy if you want to be there for a short period of time.”