Thetford park could result in 1,000 jobs

A �7.6m ENTERPRISE park for Thetford has been backed - with the prospect of it creating 1,000 jobs and giving a major economic boost which will be felt across Norfolk.

A �7.6m ENTERPRISE park for Thetford has been backed - with the prospect of it creating 1,000 jobs and giving a major economic boost which will be felt across Norfolk.

Plans for the 44-acre hi-tech park just off the A11 have been in the pipeline for about 10 years but has run in to a series of hold ups.

However, Breckland Council and landowner Crown Estate has now agreed a partnership for the project and the East of England Development Agency has given �1.5m funding.

On Friday Breckland councillors threw their weight behind the park and it emerged that about 50 companies have already expressed an interest in setting up there.

There would be a mix of offices, industrial units and distribution/storage facilities and a hotel and all would be of a “high quality design.” There would be a total of 750,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace on land between Thetford Bypass and Mundford Road.

The enterprise park would be developed alongside Breckland's Rural Enterprise Valley initiative, which aims to support the advanced engineering and motorsport businesses along the A11 between Thetford and Attleborough.

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Breckland's head of asset management Steve Udberg said: “It would deliver significant economic regeneration and this is the most significant industrial and commercial expansion development for Thetford in over 20 years.

“The creation of the new business park will enable retention of several significant employers in the town who would otherwise have to seek more suitable premises outside of Thetford and Breckland.

“This in turn will create a 'domino effect' improvement and further growth around the town from the release of capacity and/or opportunity to create improved replacement premises.”

Economic development manager Mark Stanton said: “It fits in with the aspirations about Moving Thetford Forward and this is good news for the region.

“When people see the good quality and landmark buildings it will set the tone for the future about they see Thetford.”

It is hoped work could start in April 2011 and be ready for businesses to start moving on during 2012.”

Breckland leader William Nunn said: “We have talked about it for many years and it is the gateway to Norfolk. We want people looking to Cambridge to look that further 15 miles and think about Thetford.”

Thetford councillor Sam Chapman-Allen said: “The announcement of the new enterprise park will be a flagship development within the county, forming a major gateway to Thetford. It will not only support the community of Thetford but the wider community of Norfolk with jobs and business opportunities.”

Head of asset management and development at The Crown Estate, Nick Harper, added: “This positive decision heralds an exciting future for Thetford, and for Norfolk.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Breckland Council and are keen to press ahead securing jobs and delivering a high standard business park for new business opportunities on our land.”

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