Strong support for bid to create a new £5m hi-tech hub in Stowmarket
Proposals have been put forward to create a £5million technical hub complex in a Suffolk town.
Create Tech, led by businessman and entrepreneur Peter Brady, will be designed to house between 20 and 35 units, offering server rooms, conference facilities, incubator units for start-ups, educational programmes and some of the fastest broadband speeds in the region.
If given the go ahead, it would be the first of its kind in the town and would aim to utilise the key benefits of Stowmarket’s geographical position, communications and existing enterprises, to create a centre of innovation for hi-tech companies and employees in and around the locality.
The site will be at least 30,000sq ft, with 20,000sq ft already earmarked for potentially interested businesses.
The plans have been supported by Mid Suffolk District Council and Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce.
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The site will provide support for tech start-up opportunities, and help grow highly-skilled technical jobs within the locality, including creating opportunities for those leaving technical courses from local universities and colleges.
The educational programmes would include enterprise, coding, design, digital marketing, intellectual property and start up finance.
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It will also have the opportunity to link with other facilities across the East Anglia region to create a ‘Suffolk Tech Corridor’ starting from Framlingham in the east to Cambridge in the west.
Mr Brady, CEO of social media and digital specialist company Orbital Media, said: “Having moved our company to Stowmarket several years ago, we are only too aware of all the opportunities this area offers to businesses like ours.
“With excellent communications, fast broadband connections and a growing high-skilled workforce, it is clear Stowmarket has the potential to become recognised as one of the regions elite technical centres.
“However, with an acute shortage of high-quality office accommodation in the area, we need to ensure that we act now to secure good quality facilities and services to enable the current local enterprises to grow and attract new ones to the area.
“With support from Mid Suffolk District Council, Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce and existing local tech businesses, it is our vision to put Create Tech on the map for technology innovation and commerce.”
A number of potential sites have been identified to house the complex.
Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk’s portfolio-holder for economy and Stowmarket regeneration, said: “Mid Suffolk District Council is committed to establishing, and growing, a small cluster of businesses within Stowmarket – all with a technology or innovation focus and connection.
“We have enabled conversations to take place with funding agencies including the New Anglia LEP, Chamber of Commerce and other organisations who can offer either financial support or business advice to the promoter of the Technology Hub proposal.
“We will continue to offer support and guidance where necessary.”
Peter Down, chairman of Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce, who has helped develop the Create Tech concept said: “The Chamber has been an enthusiastic supporter of the hub from the outset.
“We are always interested in opportunities for job creation and the hub offers unparalleled local potential to increase high waged, highly skilled, careers for current and future generations.”
The project is now at the stage of coalescing investment from private and public sector, with a potential launch date of January 2017.
Any companies or organisations interested in finding out more can contact Mr Brady on 07957 465533 or firstname.lastname@example.org