BRAINTREE Council will receive £7million to help it build a new state-of-the-art enterprise centre.

The centre will be based on the new Horizon 120 business park which is being built off the A131 at Great Notley.

Bosses say the centre will be a place where businesses can collaborate, access support and advice and build-up knowledge and skills.

The building will offer shared meeting rooms, flexible work spaces, training facilities and offices for smaller businesses to grow.

Funding for the centre is being provided by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership which has been handed £85m by the Government to boost local economies following the coronavirus pandemic.

It is hoped the new enterprise centre could create up to 150 new jobs a year.

Building work could begin as early as next year.

The centre will be in addition to the new hub for construction innovation (I-Construct) soon to be built on the Springwood industrial estate.

Braintree Council leader Graham Butland said: "“I’m delighted that we’ve been awarded this money to build a new state-of-the-art enterprise centre at our exciting new Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park which will help small businesses not only bounce back from this crisis, but innovate, grow and thrive.

"The creation of this facility as well as the new hub for construction innovation at Springwood shows that we are committed to supporting innovative businesses, creating more quality jobs and generating the stimulus needed to get our economy back on track and into recovery."

The enterprise centre is one of 34 projects to receive funding in the south east thanks to the Government's 'Getting Building Fund'.

South East Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Christian Brodie said: “We are delighted that government has recognised the excellent projects and potential that the South East has to drive forward our economy at this challenging time. These projects have been carefully selected to target those areas and industries particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and those that can progress, at pace, to support economic recovery.

"The South East LEP has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and has been working really closely with our local areas to understand what our businesses need and where investment will have significant impact.

“Over the last few months, we as a LEP have been providing support to local businesses. Our growth hubs have been providing advice to struggling businesses and directing businesses to funding support. We have also been reworking our own existing funding pots to create new COVID-19 funds for businesses, infrastructure investment and skills training.

“We truly believe that the south east will help lead the country out of the crisis and into recovery. The Getting Building Fund provides the next phase of financial stimulus to restart our economy.”