Business centre will bring 230 jobs and £20 million to the Harborough district

HDC leader Cllr Neil Bannister tightening the 'golden' bolt
HDC leader Cllr Neil Bannister tightening the 'golden' bolt

A ceremony has taken place to mark a major milestone in the construction of a new business centre in Market Harborough.

A number of VIP guests were invited to celebrate the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony at Harborough District Council’s Grow on Space project – due to open at the end of 2019.

‘Topping Out’ is traditionally held during building projects when the last beam, or its equivalent, is placed at the top a structure.

The leader of Harborough District Council Neil Bannister was invited to tighten a special gold-coloured bolt, alongside others involved in the project.

Cllr Bannister said: “I was delighted to be invited to the ceremony to celebrate this milestone in the construction of this important investment which, when complete, will enable businesses across the district, and beyond, to expand and prosper.”

The Grow on Space project is set to create around 230 jobs and the council predicts it will bring £20 million into the district’s economy. The centre will provide office space for businesses looking to grow and move into larger accommodation in the district.

The building, being constructed at the Compass Point Business Park in Market Harborough, is being funded by Harborough District Council which is providing up to £3,620,612, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which is providing £3,282,500, and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) which is providing £987,833.

Mandip Rai, LLEP director, said: “Research carried out by the LLEP tells us there is strong demand for grow-on space for small and medium-sized businesses across Leicestershire. This new facility creates opportunities for businesses moving on from the Innovation Centre and new investment from businesses expanding or moving to the area.”

Stuart Kerr, director at Willmott Dixon, the construction company in charge of the build, said: “We have a purpose beyond profit and that includes being passionate about leaving a lasting positive legacy, something that Grow on Space will provide for many decades to come.”

The building will provide 19,000 square feet of office space, supporting 10 to 15 companies when at full capacity. The Grow on Space follows the success of the Harborough Innovation Centre, which Harborough District Council developed and opened in 2011, to provide office space for start-up and new businesses.