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Plans for an innovation centre to be built in King’s Lynn are revealed

13:06 02 October 2014

A new King

A new King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) has been announced on the former muck works site in South Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

West Norfolk Council have unveiled plans for a £4m state-of-the-art innovation centre to be built in King’s Lynn.

A new King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC)  has been announced on the former muck works site in South Lynn. From left News CEO Kevin Horne, Jemma Curtis, Ostap Paparega and Cllr Alistair Beales. Picture: Matthew Usher.A new King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) has been announced on the former muck works site in South Lynn. From left News CEO Kevin Horne, Jemma Curtis, Ostap Paparega and Cllr Alistair Beales. Picture: Matthew Usher.

If the project gets the go-ahead, a modern-designed business centre will be built on the southern end of the Nar Ouse Regeneration area between the River Nar and the Puny Drain.

Visible from the A47, the four-storey building will be able to hold

around 150-200 people and will feature around 30 offices and meeting rooms.

Enterprise agency, Nwes, who will own and run the centre, will deliver support, advice, mentoring and workshops to local businesses.

Nwes chief executive, Kevin Horne, said that they are working with the borough council to provide a development to hold on to local talent.

He said: “King’s Lynn exports talent to places like Cambridge and London but now we want to retain it. This is a real innovation for Lynn and it’s a pleasure to work for the town. The council are doing everything to make this happen.”

A £2.5m loan from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund has been granted as well as £1m from West Norfolk Council to fund the scheme.

Mr Horne said that the facility, which will be open all year round, will create opportunities and new employment in West Norfolk.

It is hoped that the plans will go through towards the end of this year, with a view to have it up and running by Christmas 2015.

“For too long the borough has been without a catalyst for business growth but the centre will remedy that,” he said. “The centre would be the next step up for those who have perhaps started a business at home.”

Mr Horne described the design of the building as “iconic” and will be the entrance to King’s Lynn. He said they hope to use local builders, subject to competitive prices.

Mr Horne said: “The building will be around the size of the Freebridge (Community Housing in King’s Lynn) and will be as eco-friendly as possible - no gas but air sourced heat pumps. It will be built to the highest standard.”

Cabinet member for regeneration, Alistair Beales, said that the submission of the plans marks an exciting step forward for the project.

He said: “We hope the proposals will be greeted with support not only from the existing community at Nar Ouse but also from other local businesses. It will provide a superb space for businesses to grow and develop which will in turn create jobs, support the local economy and raise aspirations locally.

Mr Beales added said the area will attract people who cannot afford to live in areas such as Cambridge. He said that with the train service being increased, the town will be easier to get to.

“I am very confident it will become a success quite quickly,” he said.

What do you think of the proposed plans? Email natalie.copeland@archant.co.uk.

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