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Enterprise venture offers Thetford jobs boost

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 January 2010 | UPDATED: 21:51 07 July 2010

Rebecca Gough

Up to 1,000 jobs could be created around Thetford if a multi-million pound regeneration project goes ahead.

Thetford Enterprise Park would create 50 new employment opportunities in the next two years, with 950 in later years, as well as attract new business.

Up to 1,000 jobs could be created around Thetford if a multimillion-pound regeneration project goes ahead.

Thetford Enterprise Park would create 50 new employment opportunities in the next two years, with 950 in later years, as well as attract new business.

Its aim is to create a high-quality business park, with room for a hotel on 44 acres of development land fronting the A11 at Thetford, which could eventually become the business gateway to Norfolk.

The park would also include infrastructure and be developed using low-carbon principles.

It would be debeloped alongside Breckland Council's Rural Enterprise Valley programme, which aims to support advanced engineering and motorsport business along the A11 corridor from Thetford to Attleborough.

In a report to go before the council next Friday, additional funding of more than £900,000 is being sought to help fund the £7.6m scheme. A total of £1.5m was also previously granted by the East of England Development Agency.

It is thought the enterprise park would attract £4.54m of public-sector regeneration investment and £40m from the private sector.

Breckland's deputy chief executive officer Mark Stokes and head of asset management Steve Udberg said in the report that over the past 30 years there had been little development in the town and there were a lack of brownfield sites for development.

"The overall primary objective and outcome for this project is to create and safeguard 1,000 jobs for the Thetford area over the period 2010 to 2018/19."

They continued: "With the final dualling of the A11 planned, Thetford is likely to witness an increase in demand for all types of commercial space given the improvement in communications this will deliver, and as the economy improves."

The report goes on to confirm there is a demand for new, modern space to meet "business aspirations" and to create employment opportunities in line with the expected growth of the town.

Mr Stokes and Mr Udberg added: "The project has always been pursued for the regeneration benefits to the town and these are even more paramount toady through the recent impacts of the credit crunch.

"There is no better way to achieve the substantial requirements for Moving Thetford Forward to be supported through the economic development agenda.

"This is the most significant industrial and commercial expan-sion development for the town in over 20 years."

A separate planning application has also been submitted for the construction of a roundabout which would provide access to the enterprise park.

The meeting will be held at Elizabeth House in Dereham.

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