A centre of excellence for construction innovation has been given the green light and building work could start as early as December.

Plans for the creation of the I-Construct Innovation Hub, to be located in Springwood Drive in Braintree, were approved at a meeting of Braintree District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, September 24.

The two-storey hub, to be located close to the Enterprise Centre, will itself be an exceptional example of a modern building as it will benefit from innovative construction techniques and modern materials.

The hub - consisting of workshop and demonstration spaces, a technology lab, conference and networking facilities, a café and meeting areas - will become home to a team offering business support, grant schemes and advice to firms connected to the construction industry across the Greater South East region but it will also be a place where innovative construction ideas, technology and techniques are shared and celebrated.

The hub’s activities will be managed by Haven Gateway Partnership and will serve the South East Local Enterprise Partnership region comprising of Essex, Kent and East Sussex. Anita Thornberry, Executive Director at the Haven Gateway Partnership, said: “Not only will we support existing jobs and businesses in the construction industry but we will also help create up to 130 new jobs and solve some of the challenges the industry face. We’re looking forward to shining a light on innovative building solutions and modern methods of construction.”

Cllr John McKee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “It would be wonderful for Braintree to be known as the place for innovation in construction. We already have the Braintree STEM Innovation Centre in the town which is training hundreds of adults and young people ready for careers in construction, science and engineering and now with the I-Construct Innovation Hub we will have a great space to celebrate the innovations and possibilities taking place in the construction industry. It is an exciting time for Braintree residents and businesses.”

  • This project will be funded by the Council and by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

For further details visit Braintree District Council Website, image courtesy of Barker Associates

Braintree Website