£450,000 shortfall found in King’s Lynn Innovation Centre costs

King's Lynn Innovation Centre ANL-140506-084739001

King's Lynn Innovation Centre ANL-140506-084739001

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A £450,000 shortfall has been identified in the cost of building Lynn’s proposed new Innovation Centre.

And borough council chiefs have said they will loan developers Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Solutions (NWES) the cash if a bid for outside assistance is not successful.

The £4 million facility, which is due to be built on land off Nar Ouse Way, was given the go-ahead by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee last December.

Supporters of the project maintain that the building will help to attract budding entrepreneurs to the town and keep them here for the long term.

But council documents show the latest shortfall has been discovered after building work tenders were submitted.

Papers which have been published on the borough council’s website show that a bid has been submitted to the Norfolk Business Rates pool, though the result is not yet known.

The document continues: “If the bid was unsuccessful it was proposed that the Council loaned an equivalent amount to the project partners as an extension to the existing loan agreement.”

That proposal was supported by the authority’s cabinet last Tuesday.

Most of the funding for the centre, which officials initially hoped would be operational by Christmas of this year is coming from a £2.5 million loan provided by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The borough council has committee an initial £1 million, with further support coming from the Growing Places fund.

The business rates pool is an agreement between county and district councils, which aims to keep more of the business rates collected in Norfolk available for investment in the county.

It works by reducing the levy that district level authorities have to pay to central government for rates which are collected over a set level.