Small rural businesses are in line for a helping hand from Somerset County Council as it looks to add to its network of Enterprise Centres.
The Council has invested £950,000 of its capital funds to secure land in Wiveliscombe to build a new Enterprise Centre to provide much-needed office and light industrial space. This has been supported by Taunton Deane Borough Council who have worked with the County Council and the local business community to develop the business case for the centre.
The centre will be built on land at Sandy’s Moor and address the shortfall of suitable spaces for companies in the town and surrounding area. It is hoped that the new Enterprise centre will be able to accommodate around 13 businesses.
Somerset already has five existing Enterprise Centres in Frome, Dulverton, Minehead, Wheddon Cross and Highbridge which are already home to 45 businesses; supporting more than 100 jobs.
This is the first centre in the Taunton Deane area, which will create a welcome focal point for business support in this rural corner of the county.
All the centres are owned by Somerset County Council and managed by South West Business Centres. Benefits include flexible and easy tenure agreements and competitive rents. Tenants and local businesses have access to business support services and start up and growth planning support.
“This is an exciting first step on the way to adding to our network of Enterprise Centres which are driving economic growth in our rural areas,” said Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy.
“Small rural businesses are a mainstay of our economy and access to suitable accommodation is often a barrier to their setting up or expansion. Everyone benefits from prosperity and that makes projects like this vitally important for Somerset.”
Cllr Mark Edwards, Executive Member for Economic Development at Taunton Deane Borough Council, said; “We have supported this development from its inception so are really pleased to be part of this positive news today. We have been working in partnership with Somerset County Council to enable this purchase. The land acquisition not only creates the ability to deliver this centre but we hope will enable expansion of other local businesses on the site. We will continue to work hard with Somerset County Council and the local business community to deliver their needs.”