West Suffolk small business centre to get £550,000 expansion
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Work has started on expanding a Haverhill business centre in a bid to support small companies throughout west Suffolk thanks to half a million pounds of investment.
West Suffolk Council is to spend £550,000 on extending the MENTA Business Centre in Hollands Road.
The 142-metre squared extension will create four new units, a new reception area, bigger meeting spaces, level access and installation of two accessible toilets.
The centre is owned by West Suffolk Council and leased to, and run by, MENTA, the not for profit organisation that works with established companies, start-up businesses and those considering self-employment.
Most of the money - £502,000 - has come from a Section 106 funding agreement negotiated by the council.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has given nearly £50,000 to support the project.
Both West Suffolk Council and MENTA have been working with tenants throughout lockdown and are working to minimise the impact of the project on tenants and neighbouring businesses.
Contractors Gipping Construction began on August 3 and work is due to last six months.
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John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “This project works to Haverhill’s strengths and shows how we collaborate with key partners to target strategic investment that will create the conditions for growth and recovery.
“We are proud of the enterprise culture in Haverhill, and in West Suffolk, and delighted to be working with award winning not-for-profit MENTA in sustaining and encouraging small businesses, especially in these challenging times.”
Alex Till, chief executive at MENTA, said: “The improvements mean we are able to offer more to growing businesses and emerging entrepreneurs across Haverhill and the surrounding area.
“I’m delighted at the progress that has been made and excited at the upgraded offer and services we shall soon be able to deliver.”
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to support this scheme in Haverhill which will deliver benefits to Menta and local businesses and unlock Section 106 funding for the economic development of the area.
“This will enhance the provision of business workspaces and training and, in response to Covid-19, London-based businesses may be seeking alternative accommodation which is within easy reach of the capital.”
The project complements recent investment in Haverhill Research Park and Enterprise Zone, with both sites helping to attract commercial investment and support the creation of local jobs.