Sadness as Norwich City Council decides to close Mile Cross Business Centre - but what next for the site?

Mile Cross Business Centre is to close.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mile Cross Business Centre is to close. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Businesses are looking for new homes after City Hall bosses decided to close a business centre created on a former council depot.

Mile Cross Business Centre is to close. Co-owner of Martin's Driver Training, Carol McCafferty and d

Mile Cross Business Centre is to close. Co-owner of Martin's Driver Training, Carol McCafferty and driving instructor John Rolfe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

But it remains unclear what the future holds for the site once businesses leave at the end of March, with Norwich City Council yet to reveal the options it is considering.

In 2011, the council announced it wanted to turn its former City Works depot, off Mile Cross Road, into the Mile Cross Business Centre.

About 30 small to medium sized and expanding businesses moved onto the 10.5-acre site, with the council offering short term leases for five years.

However, that period has come to an end and the council has given notice to tenants. Some of them have already moved while others are looking to continue elsewhere.


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Carol McCafferty, from Martin's Driver Training, which is based at Mile Cross Business Centre, said her business was in the process of finding a new home.

She said: 'This place has been terrific for us. We were a fledgling business operating from home and renting space for driver training when we started.

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'We came here and the space we've had has been perfect for what we needed. The council did always say they were not planning to refurbish it and that the leases would be short-term. Some of the businesses have gone already and we are in negotiations over a new location.'

Businesses which have been based at the centre include alcohol delivery service Unibooze, furniture store Zebra Finch and the Fully Pumped Gym. A Norwich City Council spokesman said: 'Tenants' leases were due to expire at the end of December, but we extended these to the end of the financial year to give them plenty of notice of our intention to empty the site.

'Buildings on the site are now generally in need of fairly substantial repairs.

'Money generated through rent alone will not be sufficient to continue with this approach, because necessary future repairs and maintenance would outstrip the rental income. As a result this has forced our hand to explore other options for the centre.

'Our next move is to carefully consider all the possible options so we are in a position to make an informed decision about the longer term future of the site.'

When asked what the future options for the site might be, the council said they could not yet reveal details because of commercial sensitivity.

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