Council plan to attract business investment in Forest Heath

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Attracting business and helping start-up companies is at the heart of a report commissioned by Forest Heath District Council.

The report suggests that 20 new units providing support for start-up businesses would be beneficial to the district.

It also suggests that Forest Heath should be marketed as a low-cost alternative to Cambridge.

Cllr David Bowman, portfolio holder for Economic Development and Tourism said: “The more businesses we have paying business rates the higher quality services we can deliver for the general public.

“Every business will give us business rates, it gives us employment and reduces unemployment in the area.

“We are also trying to attract high tech business to raise the aspirations of our young people.”

The number of active businesses in the district has fallen by 4.1 per cent since 2004.

Cllr Bowman said the report had detailed what was needed in the district and would act as a starting point for plans.

Those areas that may see initial investment are Newmarket and Brandon.

Cllr Bowman said a small unit in Newmarket was being looked at while existing space in Brandon may be converted to create an smaller units.

The Brandon site could be an incubation centre providing shared low-cost space for start-up businesses.

Attracting businesses and helping start-ups to be successful is at the heart of the plan.

Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “We are here as a council to support businesses big and small to grow and develop new job opportunities in Forest Heath.

“We are here to work with our schools and colleges to make sure our youngsters have the skills required to work.

“And we are here to create new opportunities for the fledgling businesses starting out in people’s back bedrooms and dining room tables, that will bring a stronger economy and a better quality of life for our lovely part of Suffolk.”