'It's been a long journey to get here' - £6.5m Phoenix Enterprise Park opens for business
PUBLISHED: 15:43 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A £6.5m business hub has opened in Lowestoft, eight years after the site was destroyed by fire.
Phoenix Enterprise Park, on South Lowestoft Industrial Estate, offers 17 business units and was funded in part thanks to a £2.5m cash injection from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
It stands on the site of the former Wessex Farm Foods factory which was gutted by a blaze in 2010 and resulted in 150 workers losing their jobs.
With the park open for business and six of the units already occupied, it is hoped this latest development can act as a catalyst for further local investment.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who declared the park open, said: “It’s eight years since the Wessex Foods fire and it’s been a long journey to get here. A lot of jobs were lost and this provides us with the property to replace those jobs.
“To encourage people to set up new businesses in the area there are three key ingredients. We need to provide people with business skills, with infrastructure - what the Beccles Southern Relief Road and Third Crossing are all about - and with property people can move into.
“If you look elsewhere we’ve had the Mobbs Way scheme going very well in Oulton, and therefore having premises to compliment those in south Lowestoft is very important.”
The site, off Hadenham Road, was taken on by Suffolk County Council in 2015 and later awarded enterprise zone status thanks to the LEP’s Growth Deal with central government.
Businesses therefore have access to superfast broadband and a simplified planning process for further development.
Those moving in before March 31, 2019, can apply for reduced business rates over the next three years.
Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, thanked Waveney District Council and the LEP for their financial support, as well as emphasising the park’s contribution towards Lowestoft’s economic growth.
“This development shows Lowestoft has a really bright future,” he said. “The park’s completion demonstrates our commitment to regeneration in Lowestoft and supporting local companies that are looking for premises to start up or grow.
“We’ve delivered the Lowestoft Northern Spine Road and we’re bringing forward the Lake Lothing Third Crossing, a signal to businesses in the region.”