INVEST Essex project aims to attract more firms and jobs to the county

Kevin Bentley of Essex County Council

Kevin Bentley of Essex County Council - Credit: Archant

INVEST Essex is to oversee investment of £2.2m in a project to support economic growth in the county, with the aim of delivering 5,000 new jobs.

Previously part of Essex County Council (ECC), INVEST Essex is now an independent body and it about to move into new premises in Chelmsford.

It will be working with the Essex Technology and Innovation Centre to deliver the project across the Greater Essex area.

The three-year programme, to be part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to help 50 business relocate to Essex and will be delivered by the Let’s Do Business group which already delivers the inward investment service in East Sussex.

The ERDF funding will help provide support to provide 180 jobs within small and medium-sized businesses, with additional funding from ECC supporting jobs across all businesses sizes.

Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, skills, infrastructure and the digital economy, said: “Essex is a county of opportunity; we are well ahead of the UK average in terms of start-ups of new enterprises and are now receiving interest from a number of high profile large companies with projects valuing up to £300m.

“Essex is the eighth largest economy in the UK and so this investment is crucial in supporting businesses develop and grow in Essex and in supporting the economy more generally.

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“INVEST Essex are well placed to help support this work given their track record, including the opening of one of Amazon’s largest warehouses in the UK. INVEST Essex were instrumental in the early stages of this project identifying the location for Amazon at the London Distribution Park at Thurrock.”

Graham Marley, chief executive of Let’s Do Business, added: “We are delighted to take over management of the INVEST Essex service. The team have already demonstrated their ability and proactive support within the Essex business community.

“Through our involvement we will further enhance and develop the service by additionally providing support to start up businesses and providing an access to finance service, helping new and established businesses to find the right financial support to help businesses to start and grow.”