An influx of start-up businesses could soon be on their way to Bishop’s Stortford after councillors welcomed plans to create an new innovation centre in the town.
Proposals were put before East Herts District Council last night (July 4) that would see part of Charringtons House become a business incubator during a 12-month pilot scheme.
Chris Smith, East Herts business engagement manager, told councillors on the Performance, Audit and Goverance Scrutiny Committee that the scheme, called Launchpad, would encourage new businesses to come to the town.
The centre, which is in competition with similar centres in Harlow and Stansted, would be run by a Hertfordshire-based training company Wenta.
Businesses who signed up with the centre would be able to use its facilities for free for three months.
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Councillor Mike Allen, member for Stanstead Abbotts, said: “I am fully in support of this proposal. I used to be the chair of the Chamber of Commerce and we have been talking about this for years.
“This is a development that will be welcomed in the town.”
However councillors from Bishop’s Stortford voiced some concerns with parts of the proposals.
One issue that was raised was the possibility of an influx of more vehicles into the town centre if the project was a success.
Councillor John Wylie said: “I am broadly in support of this. I think it is something Bishop’s Stortford needs.
“I know we have a massive lack of small and medium enterprise businesses in the town.
“I am concerned about more vehicles in the town.”
Councillors were also keen for targets to be set for the pilot to ensure that the businesses stayed on in the centre beyond the first three months.
Councillor Peter Boylan said: “We need to know what success will look like in 12 months and instead of waiting for the 12 months for the pilot and we don’t know what we should be targeted.”
East Herts District Council is hoping to have the centre up and working by September 1.
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Source: Hertfordshire Live