Thetford Enterprise Park project looks for public funding to gain full picture of under-powered site

The A11 looking towards Norwich from the Elveden bridge.

The A11 looking towards Norwich from the Elveden bridge. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A developer is targeting public grants to help it sell investors its plans to kickstart a major employment site.

Pigeon has been working with Breckland Council on getting funding to carry out a full analysis of the potential of the Thetford Enterprise Park (TEP) being built on a 44-acre site in Thetford.

The site promises to create up to 2,500 jobs and develop a site between Mundford Road and the A11 to the northwest of the town.

But since being earmarked for the TEP in 1989, the site has been beset by infrastructure issues, particularly a shortage of power.

Pigeon and Breckland announced in January that it would be trying to drum up £6m to get the project underway, using a combination of public and private money.

But Will van Cutsem, director of Pigeon, told Thetford Business Forum yesterday that it first needed the full picture before it could 'sell' the project.

'The first bit of public funding we are looking for will enable us to carry out a proper analysis which we then be used to take to potential investors,' he said.

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Mr van Cutsem said the site's lack of power supply could be solved by spending £6m to £6.5m on upgrading the electricity network from Barnham Cross.

But that work could take two years, should funding become available.

He insisted the site would not become a science park akin to similar areas in Cambridge, but said the hope is it would attract 'good quality' skilled jobs - and that existing local businesses would not be forgotten.

'Of course we want to bring new employers in but we also need to remember the great existing businesses we have.

'Hopefully they will see the area as an opportunity to expand what they already have,' he said.

The site has been included as one of three hubs on the planned A11 Technology Corridor, the others being Hethel and Kings Warren at Red Lodge.

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