Work starts on A14 business park which could create 3,000 jobs

Work starting on Gateway 14 at Stowmarket

Cllr Suzie Morley (leader, Mid Suffolk District Council) was joined by Gateway 14 chair Sir Christopher Haworth and partners from Jaynic, Freeport East, Jackson Civil Engineering Ltd, Stowmarket Town Council and Mid Suffolk District Council to mark the official groundbreaking at Gateway 14 near Stowmarket. - Credit: Bec Austin

Construction on a new multi-million pound business park due to become a part of Freeport East has begun.

Project chiefs broke ground on land off the A14 Junction 50 near Stowmarket on Monday morning for Gateway 14 – a business park for logistics, manufacturing and research and development firms, as well as start-ups.

The development is anticipated to create around 3,000 jobs and bring £250m in economic benefits, with the facility being one of the three main elements of the Freeport East scheme alongside the ports in Felixstowe and Harwich.

Suzie Morley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council which wholly owns Gateway 14 Ltd, said: “This is a hugely important development for Mid Suffolk and the wider region.

“Gateway 14 has the potential to not only attract businesses to the area but also create a range of employment opportunities in the district."

Planning permission for the 156-acre site was approved in August last year by the council’s development control committee, although there had been concerns voiced by residents, local councillors and campaigners.

Among fears raised were that lorries would use the narrow back roads around Mill Lane or residential areas around Creeting St Peter and Cedars Park, potential lack of community benefits and thinner landscape buffers around the site than originally envisaged.

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Work on the £6.4m infrastructure contract by Jackson Civil Engineering Ltd is due to be completed early next year, which will include the new main estate road from the roundabout on the A1120.

A CGI image of what the Gateway 14 entrance could look like.  

A CGI image of what the Gateway 14 entrance could look like. - Credit: GLASS CANVAS/GATEWAY 14 LTD

Nic Rumsey, managing director of Jaynic, the development managers for the project, added: “Mid Suffolk District Council’s vision is strong, and we are thrilled to be part of it – creating this exciting scheme that will provide many jobs for the surrounding districts and the region.” 

Businesses occupying the Gateway 14 site in future are set to enjoy benefits of being in the tax and customs zones linked to the Freeport East designation, likely to include lower VAT, reduced stamp duty on new buildings and five years of rate relief.

But opposition Green and Liberal Democrat councillors at Mid Suffolk Council said they feared it could become an onshore tax haven that may not deliver benefits to existing Mid Suffolk businesses.

The full business case for Freeport East is with the Government for a final decision.