Work Starts on Enterprise Centre for Northern Devon

A turf cutting ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on the new Enterprise Centre development for northern Devon.

 

The Enterprise Centre is the “gateway building” at Devon County Council’s emerging Business Park development at Roundswell, near Barnstaple.

The centre, which will offer high quality office and collaboration space, is expected to be completed by the end of this year (2020). It will provide tailored support for entrepreneurs and small and medium sized businesses that have potential for high growth and innovation, and is complementary to Petroc’s new Centre for Technology & Innovation Excellence (CoTIE) and Institute of Technology.

An expert operator will deliver the business support and run the centre on behalf of Devon County Council to create jobs and benefit the whole of the northern Devon economy.

The development is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal, and Devon County Council.

Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to levelling up the whole of the UK and ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to grow and flourish. Thanks to £2.15 million of Government support from the Local Growth Fund, the North Devon Enterprise Centre will provide high quality premises for local business which will help them grow and create more jobs for people across the region.”

Devon County Council Chairman John Mathews said: “This is a priority scheme for north Devon and Torridge so this is an important day. There is strong demand for small-scale commercial space in this part of the county and the Enterprise Centre will provide some of that additional capacity, along with Petroc’s Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence.

“This scheme wouldn’t be possible without partnership working. It has received investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Growth Deal from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HoTSWLEP), so thanks to them for the funding support which is taking this project forward.”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “The Enterprise Centre is a long-held ambition for all of the stakeholders involved in the project. It’s vital that we invest in infrastructure like this in order to help stimulate the local economy and unlock the potential of local business in the area. It has the potential to make a real difference to the area which I’m sure will be welcomed.”

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The LEP is very pleased to support the North Devon Enterprise Centre with £2.15m from its Growth Deal. Quality employment space and business support can make a real difference to the success and growth of businesses; so this new facility will boost the local economy in North Devon and the wider LEP area.”

Councillor Frank Biederman, Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural, said: “I am really excited to see this project moving forward, the Enterprise Centre will give great opportunity for business growth. I would like to thank the economy teams at Devon County Council, North Devon Council and other partners for all their hard work, especially drawing down the funding for it, this will provide great opportunities for small businesses to start and grow here in northern Devon, with the appropriate support.”

Local County Councillor Richard Edgell said: “The start of work on this new Enterprise Centre is good news for the prospects of local business. It will be a positive addition which will benefit the local economy of northern Devon, helping companies in both Torridge and North Devon to grow and be successful.”

Sean Mackney, Principal and CEO of Petroc, said: “The College is delighted to be working with Devon County Council, the District Councils and the LEP to support innovation and enterprise across northern Devon. We firmly believe that this centre, alongside Petroc’s new Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence (Cotie) will provide much-needed infrastructure to support our exceptionally talented entrepreneurs and innovators, including many of our current and future students who will drive the regional economy in the years to come.”

Andy Lobato, of the Northern Devon Innovation Board, said: “We’re pleased work has started on this new high quality facility. The Enterprise Centre will provide companies with a great location as well as essential support and skills development to encourage the start-up and growth of innovation businesses. We are keen for our next generation of entrepreneurs to be retained, prosper and grow here in northern Devon.”

Contractor ISG is developing the site on behalf of Devon County Council.

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