The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has approved £14.575million of Local Growth Fund support towards the development of Southend Airport Business Park, bringing its total contribution in the phased funding of the project to more than £23m.
At its September meeting on Friday (September 14th), the LEP’s Accountability Board agreed to release the final contribution to the programme to develop the 55-acre site.
Phase 1 nearing completion
Work on Phase 1 of the project, which includes the relocation of Westcliffe Rugby Club to release the first six development plots, is nearing completion.
Phase 2, a new innovation centre
With the further LGF funding approved, Phase 2 will see the construction of a new innovation centre called The Launchpad, site infrastructure allowing the delivery of a further 15 commercial development plots, and off-site cycleways to ensure the business park is connected to sustainable transport hubs and surrounding residential areas.
The Launchpad will provide high quality, environmentally sustainable accommodation for start-up and small businesses, with a focus on the life science, med-tech and advanced engineering sectors.
Christian Brodie, Chair of SELEP said: “Southend is a fast-growing airport with passenger numbers this year expected to increase by 37% compared to 2017 and Ryanair having announced it will be operating 60 flights a week to 13 destinations from 2019.
“Southend-on-Sea and Rochford councils have an excellent joint strategy for ensuring the business park’s proximity to this expanding airport will maximise the economic benefits of its growth locally.
“It is exactly the sort of ambitious, job creating project the Local Growth Fund was introduced to support.”
Please visit www.southeastlep.com for more information