Haverhill: Eric Pickles visits site of new research park

SECRETARY of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, visited Suffolk yesterday as work started on a flagship project designed to create hi-tech jobs in the county.

Mr Pickles met business leaders at the site of the proposed Haverhill Research Park, which it is hoped will eventually bring up to 2,000 science and technology jobs to the town. New homes for up to 350 people and a restaurant and bar are also planned for the development.

Preliminary groundwork started on the 29.5 acre site on Monday, following the joint award of �4m by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, aimed at putting initial infrastructure in place.

According to chairman of the New Anglia LEP, Andy Wood, it is hoped the new park will attract businesses working in the bioscience and biomedical sectors.

He said: “Haverhill’s position near Norwich, Newmarket and Cambridge means it is well-positioned to capitalise on the types of jobs this region is becoming known for, such as those aimed at food security, health and well-being.

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“This is an exciting development for Haverhill and the fact is has taken less than seven months from the award of the money to the diggers starting work shows the determination to get this project going.”

Nic Rumsey, a director at Carisbrooke Investments, which together with St Edmundsbury Borough Council wrote the funding bid for the project, said discussions had taken place with local academic institutions, such as University Campus Suffolk, Anglia Ruskin University as well as some Cambridge University colleges about potential links with the park in the future.

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He said; “As the park develops, these kind of relationships will gain a momentum as people see it take shape.”

Mr Pickles spent some time talking to business representatives and praised the project for ‘unlocking much-needed local growth and getting the infrastructure and homes we need built.’

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