A MAJOR new investment in the Hereford Enterprise Zone has been confirmed this afternoon (Friday).
More than £655,000 of European funding has been granted to the Skylon Court project, designed to offer flexible office, workshop and studio space for growing companies.
Herefordshire Council will fund the remainder of the £1.8m project with its 10 new business units available individually or in groups. The development is expected to create at least 45 jobs.
Managing director of the Zone Mark Pearce, said: “There is a clear and current demand for small employment units such as the ones which will be available at Skylon Court. The building will not only offer office space, but also workshop and studio areas – giving tenants the flexibility to use the space as they need.
“Our research has shown that there is limited current supply of units like this in the Hereford area and so Skylon Court will fulfil some element of untapped demand.
“The significant investments from both Herefordshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) means we will be in a position to offer self-contained state-of-the-art business space in a high profile location to companies as early as January 2015.”
Skylon Court, designed by architects Howl Associates, will be built on the corner of the Straight Mile and Coldnose Road, with two of the ten units offering double height space to accommodate a mezzanine floor.
All the ground floor units will have wide double height access doors.
Norman Price, Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee said: “Supporting local growth is one of the main aims for the ERDF Programme.
“Turning round derelict land into good quality space for new businesses to locate and grow is a very worthwhile activity, especially when you add into the mix the availability of a package of support services to ensure their survival and help with growth," said Mr Price.
"This important project will help encourage local innovative entrepreneurs to set up and I am delighted that we have provided funding to make this happen," he said.
Leader of Herefordshire Council, councillor Tony Johnson, said the council’s investment and the grant from the ERDF helped drive not only the development of the zone, but the county as a whole.
Skylon Park is the 72-hectare site designated as the Enterprise Zone of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
The majority of the land in the Zone, 80 per cent, is owned by Herefordshire Council with the remainder owned by the Goodwin Trust.