Somerset’s Enterprise Centre network is now supporting more than 60 small businesses and aiming for 70 before the end of the year.
Recent developments include an extra floor at the centre in Minehead and reshaping space at the Highbridge centre which has allowed three more businesses to join its ranks. With all centres currently at full capacity it means that there are now 67 businesses supported through the network, between them employing well over 100 people.
The network of five centres has been established by the County Council to help small and medium sized businesses start up and grow, particularly in rural areas where access to suitable and affordable space is hard to find.
They provide light industrial and office space, superfast broadband, flexible tenancy terms that are well-suited to new and growing business, and access to business support.
With construction underway to expand the Highbridge centre and prospective tenants waiting in the wings, it is hoped that by the end of the year the network work will support more than 70 enterprises.
Councillor David Hall, Cabinet member for Resources and Economic Development, said: “It’s fantastic news that the enterprise centres are supporting more businesses and more jobs than ever. A thriving economy, jobs and prosperity are critical to Somerset’s long-term future.
“Businesses that employ five people or less are hugely important to our economy, particularly in rural areas. These are exactly the kind of businesses that this network is here for”.
As well as Minehead and Highbridge, there are enterprise centres in Dulverton, Frome and Wheddon Cross. The network is operated on behalf of the Council by TDA.
The range of businesses supported is huge, from fleet management to virtual gaming development, organic paint distributor to bearings suppliers.
Plans for new centres in Wells and Wiveliscombe are currently being finalised.