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SOMERSET: Chard enterprise centre location confirmed

SOMERSET: Chard enterprise centre location confirmed

CREDIT: Google Maps.

A new hub for small businesses in the Chard area will be built right next to the town’s recycling centre if plans are approved.

Somerset County Council announced in mid-August that it had committed more than £4M towards creating the Chard Enterprise Centre, providing office and industrial space for local businesses and off-setting the loss of Oscar Mayer to the town.

The council previously stated the new centre would be constructed on Beeching Close, but the precise location of the facility was not disclosed at the time.

Officers have now revealed the new centre will be built directly next door to the recycling centre – with the existing footpath and cycle path possibly having to be redirected if approval is granted.

The centre will be built at the southern edge of Beeching Close, with a new access being created from the existing turning head near the entrance to the recycling centre.

The centre will comprise two blocks – one for ten self-contained offices and two meeting rooms, and one for light industrial units – with new car and cycle parking spaces being provided.

The existing footpath and cycle path, which connects the centre to Chard Reservoir and the Henson Park estate, will be retained through the middle of the site – though it may have to be moved slightly once the final layout of the buildings has been agreed.

The county council has a growing network of enterprise centres across Somerset, which are intended to provide affordable workspace in areas where such resources have been difficult to secure commercially.

In addition to providing space, the network also offers businesses professional advice and support, including help with grant funding applications.

A spokesman said: “Due to the success of the recently completed Wells and Wiveliscombe Enterprise Centres, as well as the Bruton Enterprise Centre we are currently working on, it is envisaged to use the same palette of materials for the proposed office hub and light industrial units.”

Of the £4,064,345 budgeted for the new enterprise centre, the council will be providing £2,203,879, as well as £110,000 being provided in kind as the value of the land.

The remaining £1,750,466 will be provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The facility is designed so that it can be extended to the west in the years ahead if there is the demand from local firms.

The plans are expected to come before the council’s regulation committee for a final decision early in the new year.

Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter


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