Issue - meetings

Innovation/Incubation Units: Suffolk Business Park, Bury St Edmunds

Meeting: 09/11/2021 - Cabinet (Item 296)

296 Proposed Incubation Units: Suffolk Business Park, Bury St Edmunds pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Report number:     CAB/WS/21/052

Portfolio holder: Councillor Susan Glossop

Lead officer: Andrea Mayley

Additional documents:


Recommended to Council:

(14 December 2021)



1.           The Business Case attached as Appendix A to Report number CAB/WS/21/052, be approved and the project objectives be endorsed. 


2.           The purchase of 6.8 acres of net developable land to enable the project to be delivered, be approved.


3.           The development of 40,000 sq. ft employment space (phase one) on Zone 3 of Suffolk Business Park in accordance with the details contained in the Business Case, be approved.


4.           A £12.1m capital budget for phase 1 only, funded through the Investing in our Growth Fund through Prudential borrowing with the revenue impact in line with the Financial Case section of Appendix A to Report number CAB/WS/21/052, be approved.   


5.           Officers to proceed in line with the Council’s agreed Scheme of Delegation.  However, where necessary, agreement be sought for delegation to the Director (Resources and Property) and the Director (Planning and Growth), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources and Property and with the Portfolio Holder for Growth, to make changes to the proposal to reflect the need for the project to evolve as time moves forward and to enable the project to be delivered in accordance with the Finance Case and the Programme.


6.           The Council’s Section 151 Officer to make the necessary changes to the Council’s prudential indicators, as a result of recommendation 4. above.



(Report number CAB/WS/21/052)


Councillor Susan Glossop, Portfolio Holder for Growth presented this report which explained that the West Suffolk Strategic Framework 2020 to 2024 set out three strategic priorities, including the Council’s commitment to focus its energies and resources on the “Growth in West Suffolk’s economy for the benefit of all our residents and UK plc”.  This proposed project was a key example of how the Council could support and invest in its communities and businesses as it provided incubation space for new and developing companies that would not otherwise be provided.


The purpose of this report was to seek authority for the development of 40,000 sq. ft of start-up/incubation space, as phase one, for companies mainly in the advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) sector and its supply chain.  The costs of borrowing to fund this development through prudential borrowing, would be covered by the business rates that were forecasted to be retained locally, as a result of the Enterprise Zone at Suffolk Park, Bury St Edmunds.


A full Business Case for Phase One was attached as Appendix A (this included Exempt Appendix 2) and this in turn was supported by a Risk Register (Appendix 1) and a high-level Project Plan (Appendix 3).  Additional Business Case(s) would be required to bring forward Phase Two. 


The Phase One Business Case set out the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management cases for this development.  It set out the project objectives and concluded that the case was made for the proposal to be supported and delivered in line with the high-level programme.  The project required the allocation of approximately £12.1m of capital funding which was assumed to be funded through prudential borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB).  The Financial Case explained the assumptions that had been made to determine the capital cost, revenue implications, cash flow projections and the unique arrangement for financing the debt over 17 years, along with some retention of the Business Rates received from the Enterprise Zone on Suffolk Business Park which would be used to pay for the costs of borrowing, with support from the LEP and Suffolk County Council.


This project provided the opportunity to deliver on the Council’s original vision for the employment allocation at Suffolk Business Park.  It built on the commitment shown by the Council, New Anglia LEP and Suffolk County Council to funding/developing the Eastern Relief Road (now Rougham Tower Avenue) and also reflected the intent behind establishing the Enterprise Zone on Suffolk Park.  The intention was that, once built, the Centre would be run by a leading provider of business support to the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector (AME).  This would be a first for West Suffolk and a significant achievement.   The aim was to provide space for start-up or growing businesses in a supported/flexible environment, with access to high quality business advice and networking opportunities.


Recommended to Council:

(14 December 2021)



1.           The Business Case attached as Appendix A to Report number CAB/WS/21/052, be approved and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 296