Planning application is submitted to extend MENTA Business Centre in Haverhill

Left to right: Alex Till, CEO of MENTA, John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Jo

Left to right: Alex Till, CEO of MENTA, John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, John Mayhew, Chair of ONE Haverhill and Paul Vella, of MENTA Haverhill Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

An investment of £500,000 is set to be injected into a “much-needed” upgrade to a business centre in Haverhill.

A planning application has been submitted to extend the MENTA Business Centre at 27 Hollands Road, which currently provides 26 business units.

The St Edmundsbury Borough Council-owned property is leased to and managed by MENTA, a not-for-profit organisation that works with established companies and start-up businesses and those considering self-employment.

John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We applaud the success of local enterprise in Haverhill and I am delighted that this funding will give more small businesses opportunities to establish themselves.

“The proposed extension uses £502,000 of funding we negotiated with Asda to build a petrol filling station in Bury St Edmunds on land allocated for small employment units.

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“We ring-fenced the section 106 contribution to provide similar opportunities in the borough.

“We are proud of the enterprise culture in west Suffolk and are pleased to be working with innovation-leading partners, such as award-winning MENTA, to help sustain start-ups through the first tricky years.”

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Susan Glossop, cabinet member for planning and growth, said the proposed extension would add about 142 metre squared, enhance the building’s appearance and create more work space.

Once approved, the build would take about six months and the council will be working closely with MENTA and their tenants to understand and reduce the impact of the work on their businesses.

Alex Till, chief executive of MENTA, said: “We’re delighted St Edmundsbury Borough Council is investing in improving our premises in Haverhill.

“The refurbishment will provide a much-needed lift to Hollands Road with meeting and training space, a new coffee shop and further business units to be available.

“MENTA’s Haverhill Business Centre is at capacity and our present tenants are looking forward to up-to-date facilities and the opportunity for regular, on-site, networking opportunities.”

John Mayhew, chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership, said: “I’ve been a fan of MENTA since starting Fiscale there in 2014.

“It gave us the opportunity to test proof a business concept while limiting risk with easy-in-easy-out rental terms, business advice and grant information. This is a great way to develop new businesses by supporting them through their formative years.

“ONE Haverhill Partnership and Haverhill Chamber of Commerce both work closely with MENTA and we are delighted the facilities are being extended with help from St Edmundsbury Borough Council.”

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