Suffolk/Norfolk: New Anglia LEP extends grant scheme to kick-start stalled developments

The development site off the Fiveways roundabout on the A11 at Barton Mills

The development site off the Fiveways roundabout on the A11 at Barton Mills - Credit: Archant

A new loans fund designed to help kick-start smaller-scale commercial developments has been launched by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Small Loans Fund offers up to £500,000 towards the cost of developments which have stalled due to lack of finance.

First to benefit under the scheme is a development on the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills roundabout, near Mildenhall, where a £400,000 short-term loan will support the creation of access to a new drive-through restaurant and petrol station.

A second phase of the scheme will include a number of commercial business units, with the development – among the first major investments secured since work began on dualling the single-carriageway stretch of the A11 between Fiveways and Thetford – expected to support around 50 jobs in all.

The funding for the Small Loans Fund is coming from New Anglia LEP’s Growing Places Fund (GPF) which is investing in a number of major development projects in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Among the projects currently being funded through the GPF are the Ipswich flood defence scheme and the Haverhill Research Park.

However, the creation of the Small Loans Fund means smaller stalled projects will also be able to benefit.

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Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: “We are keen to help developers and investors realise the potential of sites where businesses can grow and flourish.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be launching our Small Loans Fund which will help leverage funding and kick start sites such as the development at Barton Mills.

“As we can see, the dualling of the A11 will create a significant and positive economic impact on the area.”

Hugh French, commercial surveyor at development company Pigeon, which is behind the Fiveways scheme, said: “The LEP funding will enable us to commence the construction of what will be a very exciting development on the Barton Mills roundabout.

“There is a lack of finance available for commercial developments at present, but we are delighted that the LEP has been able to assist us in moving our scheme forward. We should now be starting construction on site this year.”

The Small Loans Fund is open to developments that already have planning consent and offer the potential to deliver new jobs but have stalled because of a lack of finance. For further details, contact project manager Chris Dashper by email to .