Funding secured for North Devon Enterprise Centre

Funding has been secured by Devon County Council for an exciting new Enterprise Centre to be located at its emerging Business Park development at Roundswell, near Barnstaple.

Grant funding is being provided by the European Regional Development Fund and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal, in addition to the County Council’s investment.

Complementary to Petroc’s planned Centre for Technology & Innovation Excellence (CoTIE) and Institute of Technology, the Enterprise Centre will benefit the whole of northern Devon by supporting the start-up and growth of businesses to create jobs in the area.

Planning consent was granted for the development last year and Devon County Council has selected ISG as its preferred contractor for the project. Construction is scheduled to start later this year and the Centre is expected to be open for business by the end of next year.

The centre will be the flagship of the business park, providing high quality office and collaboration space with tailored support for entrepreneurs and small and medium sized businesses which have potential for high growth and innovation. Devon County Council will procure an expert operator to run the centre and deliver the business support.

The remainder of the employment land on the site will be marketed for sale for mixed business uses later this year, and when fully developed, the business park is expected to support around 350 jobs.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “We’re delighted to receive this support and investment from the ERDF and HotSWLEP to help us move towards getting this scheme underway. The Enterprise Centre and wider business park is vital for achieving economic growth in northern Devon and we’re keen to start progressing this site as soon as we can.”

Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I’m pleased to see another one of our Growth Deal projects getting underway in North Devon. We’ve invested £2.15m in the scheme, which will leverage hundreds of jobs and provide businesses with collaboration space to grow. I look forward to seeing this exciting scheme take shape over the coming year.”

Rob Martin, managing director of ISG’s UK Construction West business, commented: “Procured through the influential Southern Construction Framework (SCF), this landmark scheme will act as the catalyst for future phases of development at this new Devon business park. Creating a positive legacy through our actions and projects is extremely important to us, and this latest development builds on the ties we forged through our successful delivery of the Engineering and Lifestyle and Tourism Training Centres for Petroc College.”

Andy Lobato, of the Northern Devon Innovation Board, said: “We are encouraging the start-up and growth of innovation businesses through facilities such as the new Enterprise Centre in Barnstaple. This will provide a high quality facility complemented with business support and skills development opportunities provided by other initiatives that we are supporting in the area. We are keen to support our next generation of entrepreneurs and help them to succeed here in northern Devon.”

Devon County Council’s local members also expressed support for the scheme.

Councillor Frank Biederman, Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural, said: “I am really excited that the enterprise centre is moving forward and will give great opportunities for people to start up in business with support available to them, once completed.”

Councillor Richard Edgell, Devon County Councillor for Chulmleigh and Landkey, said: “I am particularly pleased that this will support growing businesses in North Devon by providing small work units from which they can expand as their businesses develop, with the help of support and encouragement at the centre.”

Businesses interested in development plots at the site are invited to contact the Council’s property agents NPS South West, Diane Rider on 01392 351209 / Diane.Rider@nps.co.uk  Ahead of the appointment of the Centre operator, NPS are also registering early interest in space at the Enterprise Centre – contact Chris Bouchard 01392 351052 / chris.bouchard@nps.co.uk