Rochford Council approves new Southend Airport ‘innovation facility’ for start-ups and SMEs

COUNCILLORS have granted planning permission for a new ‘innovation facility’ near Southend Airport, to help launch new start-up businesses.

Rochford Council has given the green light to the new building – named the Launchpad – at Airport Business Park Southend, off Cherry Orchard Way.

Southend Council has led the project, which it said would ‘champion real innovation in the area for start-ups and SMEs’.

The authority said it would launch a procurement process in 2020 to find an operator for the facility.

The planned three-storey building will include ‘a mix of offices, workshops, research facilities and break-out spaces’.

There will also be a café and a seminar room.

The Launchpad is part of a wider £150million overhaul at Airport Business Park Southend.

Emma Cooney, Southend Council’s director of regeneration and growth, said: “Airport Business Part Southend is vital to driving opportunity, prosperity and economic growth of both Southend-on-Sea and the wider region.

“It will create more local employment and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, local businesses to expand and new ones to invest.

“The Launchpad is just one part of the jigsaw, but as the applicant, the council is delighted to see The Launchpad approved by Rochford District Council. This new facility will champion innovation and be a hub of activity.”

Charles Thomson

Chief Reporter Email: [email protected]