Key milestone for new multi-million pound business centre

The first phase of a new multi-million pound business centre in Bridgwater has been completed on time and on budget.

The Somerset Energy Innovation Centre will provide 2,400 square metres of flexible office, meeting and informal networking space to support the development of a nuclear and low carbon energy supply chain in Somerset.

A ceremony was held earlier today (Friday) where the keys were officially handed over to Somerset County Council by representatives from construction firm Midas.

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Pictured, from left, David Eccles, Head of Hinkley Point C Communications, Andy Smith, Group Business Development Director at Midas, Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s Director and Lead Commissioner for Economic and Community Infrastructure, Steve Leahy from Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce, Cllr Alan Hudson from Bridgwater Without Parish Council. Cllr Anne Fraser, Sedgemoor District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, Pat Flaherty, Chief Executive of Somerset County Council, and Simon Venner from Aecom

 

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “This first phase has been completed on time and on budget which is fantastic news for Somerset and the South West.

“The Innovation Centre represents a major investment in our county which will create jobs and encourage growth, providing a huge boost to the local economy and laying the foundations for long-term sustainable growth.

“I’m delighted with the progress being made and look forward to returning in a few months when our first businesses have moved in.”

The Council is currently in the process of contracting with an operator for the Centre and looks forward to a formal opening later in the year.

Any businesses interested in becoming a tenant at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre should contact Lynda Madge in the first instance by emailing lymadge@somerset.gov.uk.

Andy Smith, Group Business Development Director for The Midas Group, said: “We are delighted to hand over the first phase of this project which not only delivers an impressive building but we believe has been an excellent example of our commitment to delivering outstanding customer service and investing in the communities which we work in. The work done by Midas to engage with local schools and young people during the first phase of the build has been awarded 10 out of 10 by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for innovation in respect of the community, which we are very proud of.”

Cllr Anne Fraser, Sedgemoor District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, said: “Sedgemoor District Council is proud to have assisted, along with partners, in the development of this flagship building within which new and innovative businesses can grow and flourish. Located at the northern gateway to Bridgwater the Innovation Centre sends a powerful message that Sedgemoor continues to grow and is a great place to do business.”

David Eccles, EDF Energy’s Head of Communications for Hinkley Point C, said “The completion of this facility is another example of the investment that EDF Energy has made in the local area and the business opportunities that Hinkley Point C provides. As we prepare for the start of full scale construction those companies that may be involved in our supply chain now have a location in which to potentially base some of their activities.”

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Overlooking Hinkley Point from the roof of the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre are, from left, Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s Director and Lead Commissioner for Economic and Community Infrastructure, David Eccles, Head of Hinkley Point C Communications, Pat Flaherty, Chief Executive of Somerset County Council, Steve Leahy from Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce, Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, Simon Venner from Aecom, and Cllr Alan Hudson from Bridgwater Without Parish Council.

The Somerset Energy Innovation Centre has been built to support the start-up and growth of businesses in Somerset and across the South West. It will encourage collaborative working between suppliers to help local businesses access opportunities in the Hinkley C supply chain and beyond. Businesses will also be able to access a package of business support to meet their development needs.

The Somerset Energy Innovation Centre is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, please visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

To view more photos from the ceremony, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/somersetcountycouncil/sets/72157655089777491