A £1.2million project to construct Highbridge Enterprise Centre at a site at the Isle-port Business Park in Somerset is progressing well with an expected completion date of early next year.
A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said:
“We expect the new Enterprise Centre at Highbridge to be ready for businesses to move in early in the New Year. It joins the County Council’s four other Enterprise Centres at Dulverton, Wheddon Cross, Minehead and Frome, providing rural businesses with support to expand and flourish. The access and parking for the site is in place and work to build the industrial units, flexible office space and networking areas is also progressing well and nearing completion.
“So far 10 local businesses have made enquiries about using the site for their business. Two have already confirmed that they will move into the light industrial units on the site when they are complete.”
Sedgemoor District Council approved a planning application in October last year enabling the project to get underway. Upon completion the centre will comprise two, two storey buildings; one for industrial and one for office-based jobs. The buildings will house ten start-up businesses which will get access to superfast broadband and support from a business mentor.
The project has been funded by the government, who has provided £850,000 to the scheme. The project has also been part-funded through the Rural Growth Network (RGN), which is an initiative designed to encourage economic growth and enterprise in rural areas. Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership is working in conjunction with Devon and Somerset County Councils on behalf of the RGN.
TDA are acting as the site managers and is working alongside contractor South West Highways Ltd.
As part of the project the steel structure of the main building has been erected along with three standalone workshops. The level of the site has been raised by a metre and a flood relief and retention pond has been constructed. Work is also underway to lay the concrete for the main courtyard.
The buildings have been designed to reduce energy consumption by incorporating high grade insulation and north lights, as well as natural ventilation. The accommodation has also been designed to achieve BREEAM Very Good Standard.