£6.2million windfall for Haverhill Research Park will 'bring jobs to the town'
The chairman of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and the ONE Haverhill Partnership has hailed the £6.2million investment in a new innovation and business centre at Haverhill Research Park as 'great news for the town.'
The investment is being made through a £3.5m loan from West Suffolk Council and a £2.7m Local Growth Fund from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
And John Mayhew believes it will provide much-needed 'iconic' , quality accommodation for younger, growing businesses in Haverhill, something the town doesn't currently have.
Mr Mayhew said: "I think it's fabulous news because the moment that building becomes reality, my hunch is that people will go for it and that will bring jobs into Haverhill and quality residents into Haverhill.
"I believe that there are businesses in Haverhill and maybe businesses who could be in Haverhill, where with proper office accommodation it would bring them here and that will be extremely good for this town and for the shops that are here."
Mr Mayhew said he 'took his hat off' to West Suffolk Council and the Combined Authority for their investment in Haverhill.
He added: "I think it's an iconic building on an iconic site and I think it's great news."
West Suffolk Council has been working with developers Jaynic to bring forward a scheme on the site, including putting in place the £3.5m loan facility for the project.
At the same time the Council and the developer held talks with the Combined Authority, requesting financial support for the scheme.
The Authority agreed the £2.7 million bid, following a recommendation from its Business Board.
West Suffolk Council Leader, Councillor John Griffiths, said: “This is part of West Suffolk Council’s ambition and drive to attract jobs and economic opportunities to our area and further ensure our future prosperity.
“By working with the developer and partners, across borders, we have been able to bring millions of pounds of investment to Haverhill, an economic boost for our residents and businesses together with an income to support Council services.
“One of the reasons for creating the new West Suffolk Council was to be better able to attract external funding while still being the right size to work with our local communities on tailored initiatives and this is an excellent example.
“Haverhill is a growing town full of opportunities and potential.
“This is something recognised by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board who see this as an important initiative for not only Haverhill but the wider area and economy.
“I would like to thank the members of the Business Board, the Mayor and the Combined Authority for sharing this vision, and the local growth funding, and look forward to even closer working.”
Interim chair of the Business Board, Austen Adams said: “The Business Board is all about creating the conditions for dynamic enterprise, for business innovation, research and development, and supporting our talented business leaders in their ambitions for growth.
“Haverhill is in a prime location, already making a significant contribution to the wider economy here. It has potential to grow further and this investment should build on that success, kickstarting all kinds of fresh business and job opportunities.
The funding will unlock development on the Enterprise Zone and act as a catalyst in bringing forward the local economy.
“The project will create an innovation and business centre, the gateway site directly adjacent to the ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ roundabout helping to attract further commercial investment and to support the creation of jobs for the area.”
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, James Palmer, said: “It’s about partnership. This development shows how the Combined Authority and Business Board works with local partners to make things happen, quickly and effectively.
“With this Local Growth Fund investment, West Suffolk Council can press forward with what promises to be a fantastic base for growth, creating new jobs, new businesses, and widening prosperity for this important part of our regional economy.”
Local Growth Fund investment is given by the Government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to Local Enterprise Partnerships (the Business Board in the case of Cambridge and Peterborough) to distribute locally in support of Economic Development priorities.
Minister of State for Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and levelling up our regions.
“That is why I am really pleased to see this £2.7 million investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund supporting the development of the Haverhill Research Park.
“Set in the heart of the South Cambridge Business and Technology Cluster, this major project will not only create an attractive hub for businesses, but will attract hundreds of jobs, driving local economic growth throughout the surrounding area.”
West Suffolk is part of the nationally important Cambridge-Sub region and as such a driver of the UK economy.
Haverhill is an important town for West Suffolk with plans for 4,000 new houses and continues to play a significant contribution to the wider Cambridgeshire economy. Haverhill Research Park is one of five sites under the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone programme.
One of the reasons the new West Suffolk Council was created was to work better with regional and national partners on projects and funding while being small enough to work on tailored initiatives with our local communities.
Jaynic’s Managing Director, Nic Rumsey said: “We are delighted that we will now be able to deliver the long held ambition of a landmark Innovation / Business Centre at Haverhill’s gateway.
“Without the financial assistance from the Combined Authority’s Business Board and the Council it wouldn’t have been possible. We expect to start construction early October and to be open for business in September 2020.”
More by this authorSteve Barton