King’s Lynn Innovation Centre is to be handed back to council
A flagship business centre in West Norfolk is being given back to West Norfolk council over an unpaid £2.75m loan.
Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES), which runs the King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC), had until November 30 to pay back the money which it borrowed in 2014 when the centre was built.
NWES and the local authority have now agreed that the building would be handed back to the council.
A statement said both parties had agreed to work together to secure best value for taxpayers and the best interests of tenants in the building.
NWES chief executive officer Jo Clarke, said: 'The team at NWES is justifiably proud of the huge endeavour which has resulted in the successful development and ongoing management of the KLIC building. The economic impact KLIC has delivered in respect of both business support and as a catalyst for future development of the Nar Ouse site cannot be underestimated.
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'We look forward to our continued partnership with West Norfolk council as we complete arrangements for the handover, while the valued support services we deliver from KLIC to clients and tenants continue uninterrupted.'
Alistair Beales, the council's cabinet member for corporate projects and assets, said: 'When the King's Lynn Innovation Centre scheme was first put forward, we wanted to secure a high calibre, iconic building in King's Lynn. The premises would become an anchor building and a business investment and development hub within the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area and more specifically within the Nar Ouse Business Park Enterprise Zone.
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'Our outcomes have been achieved. The building is now home to numerous start-ups and expanding businesses, and is currently 94pc occupied. Planning permission for commercial units has been granted elsewhere on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area as well as for a new car dealership and servicing centre. This area is really starting to develop.
'We are pleased that by working in partnership with the New Anglia LEP and NWES that we have been able to achieve these outcomes. Our focus now is to continue to work collaboratively with NWES to secure repayment of the loan and finalise the financial arrangements with NWES which will achieve the best outcome for our taxpayers.'