Technology park set to boost economy

PLANS for a massive technology park that could inject millions of pounds into the Suffolk economy have been unveiled.The proposed state-of-the-art development has been earmarked for a site off Addison Way, in Great Blakenham, next to an existing business park.

PLANS for a massive technology park that could inject millions of pounds into the Suffolk economy have been unveiled.

The proposed state-of-the-art development has been earmarked for a site off Addison Way, in Great Blakenham, next to an existing business park.

Yesterday , property developer Braceforce Group officially revealed computer-generated images and plans for the £100m St James' Technology Park, which are currently being considered by Mid Suffolk District Council.

If it is given the go-ahead, the development could create 1,000 jobs and turn the Cambridge to Suffolk high-tech corridor into a reality.


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And with 52 companies from all over the European Community already interested in the site, it is hoped it will put Suffolk on the global map as a place for technology and Information Technology businesses to locate.

The proposed park features more than 300,000sq ft of high-tech business space, which would be built over a three-year period, along with a further 200,000sq ft of logistical support facilities, such as warehouses.

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It will be located alongside two of Braceforce's developments - the £20m Orion Business Park, which is nearing completion and features modern offices, and the existing giant warehouse complex occupied by major shipping operators.

It will include landscaping with “new tree belts” and a lake handling the surface run-off from the site as well as a dual carriageway link to the A14, which will open up the routes to Cambridge and Stansted Airport.

The £1m gyratory system could handle 3,000 vehicle movements an hour, away from residential areas.

John Di Carlo, Braceforce's sales director, estimated St James' Technology Park would produce a combined annual turnover of £750m and would bring a peripheral income to the mid-Suffolk economy of £1.5bn.

He said: “This could be one of the most exciting business developments in the eastern counties.

“It should be a major influence in bringing high-tech industries to the area and expanding the local economy.”

Mr Di Carlo said that, although the park would recruit locally as much as possible, not all the 1,000 jobs could be filled by people from the region.

However, with 250 to 500 homes planned for the former cement works in Great Blakenham and the continuing development of Ipswich Waterfront, it is hoped employees will move into the area.

Bob Feltwell, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “It will put Suffolk on the map in terms of having 1,000 jobs and they are the type of jobs and the mix of jobs that are now required.

“We are looking at highly-skilled, high-tech manufacturing opportunities -we do not have that enough in Suffolk.

“Everyone talks about a high-tech corridor and this is actually what it means in reality.

“There's been a lot of talk about technology and we believe that this is the type of development that we need to encourage other companies to come here.

“This is the sort of development I have seen in the Far East. The UK can also produce innovative and exciting developments and this is the sort of place where that can happen.

“In the future, the university campus could provide higher skilled people that can come to work in a high-tech place on their doorstep, rather than moving to London, Cambridge, Singapore or Geneva.

“One thing Suffolk really needs is more jobs to balance the regional assembly's requirements for more houses.”

A consultation on the plans will start with local people in about a month's time, with a council decision expected in about 10 weeks' time.

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