Revealed: West Norfolk council loaned £250,000 to flagship King’s Lynn Innovation Centre

The King's Lynn Innovation Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

The King's Lynn Innovation Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

The figure loaned to a £5m business centre when expected EU grant payments were delayed by Brexit has been disclosed under Freedom of Information rules.

West Norfolk council invested £1m in the King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) on Nar Ouse Way, which opened in June.

In September, the council's ruling cabinet agreed to lend money to 'mitigate the cash flow implications' of the delayed payment of European Development Fund grants, after the Brexit vote.

At the time, the council declined to reveal the amount of the loan. After it also refused subsequent requests, this newspaper submitted a request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Now the figure has been revealed as £250,000. Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES) said: 'NWES have no comment to make on what we view as a non-news story.'

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West Norfolk council also did not respond with a comment.

At the time the loan was agreed, Alastair Beales, the council's then deputy leader and portfolio holder for regeneration said that the loan would 'outperform the average return of council investments' and be repaid by November 30, 2018.

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He said that the money would help NWES support and grow the businesses already based at the KLIC and attract new tenants to the complex.

Built on the site of a former fertiliser factory in King's Lynn, the innovation centre provides offices, meeting rooms, conference facilities and high speed broadband.

Advice on grants and financing is also available in-house, while tenants also benefit from reduced business rates.

It is hoped the building, close to the A47 southern bypass, will drive economic growth by helping new and expanding businesses to succeed.

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