New Enterprise Zone can be a catalyst for regeneration in Lynn
- Credit: Archant
A new Enterprise Zone in King's Lynn could act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the whole area south of the town centre.
Buildings were previously cleared on the Nar Ouse regeneration area in South Lynn and new roads were built ahead of development.
But work was postponed due to the recession and much of the land has been undeveloped for a decade.
Hundreds of homes are now being built in the area and the new £5m innovation centre will be the first to open on the business park on June 14.
Nick Daubney, West Norfolk Council leader, said there was nothing now stopping the development of the whole area.
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He said: 'The land was in a poor state 15 years ago, but has all now been cleaned up and is very usable.
'Where an innovation centre has been built elsewhere, things have happened quite quickly afterwards, with the centre becoming the anchor.'
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Business and council leaders have also pledged to keep pushing for a dualled A47 and for the upgrade to the Ely North rail junction, which is key to more and faster train services in the region.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia LEP, said: 'This innovation centre will create 800 jobs over five years and 60 businesses will be located here. It's modern, dynamic, state-of-the-art, ambitious.
'It will be a great boost to west Norfolk.
'We are also investigating dualling the A47 and upgrading the Ely North rail junction.
'The geography of King's Lynn is right and it's full of potential. West Norfolk is a great place to live and work.'
Kevin Horne, chief executive of enterprise agency Nwes, said the Enterprise Zone would act as a catalyst for more business development on the site.
He added: 'The idea is to incubate the entrepreneurs. We will provide all the support they need, and accelerate their businesses.
'We have already done that at Beacon Park in Great Yarmouth, and we expect the same thing to happen here.
'We have got some tenants moving in on June 14. Lynn is well connected now and we believe it has a real future, but it's never had this great office space before.'
Michael Muskett, chairman of Nwes, is stepping down in June, and said this was his 'swansong'.
He said: 'This will be another gateway into King's Lynn. When I came here last May it was a barren site.'
The new Enterprise Zone will entice businesses with superfast broadband, discounted business rates and relaxed planning rules. Firms making large investments in plant and machinery will also receive tax relief worth millions of pounds.
It was one of 10 Enterprise Zones launched across the region.
Are you one of the new tenants moving into the KLIC – King's Lynn innovation centre? Email firstname.lastname@example.org