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Business to move to new premises over ‘hopeless’ issues at King's Lynn Innovation Centre



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West Norfolk Council has defended the success of the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) after an outgoing tenant described the building as “hopeless”.

Peter Lawrence, director of Human Capital Department, says his company is moving to the North Lynn Industrial Estate because of what he claims are the problems at KLIC.

He said that since West Norfolk Council took over the management of the building from Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES), tenants continued to face difficulties.

KLIC centre in Lynn. (7806938)
KLIC centre in Lynn. (7806938)

Mr Lawrence questioned whether the building is serving its purpose as a site for start-up businesses.

And he argued there were fundamental flaws with its operation of KLIC, including a lack of staff on reception, a faulty buzzer, meaning visitors often did not know where to go on arrival.

A lack of car parking and signage, as well as a poor landline telephone signal were also highlighted. Mr Lawrence said the phone would often be down so clients were unable to call him.

He said: “This centre should be about businesses establishing themselves but the opposite is happening.

“This is public money being spent but it is not being used for the purposes it was originally intended for. It’s just trying to maximise the rent so money is coming in.”

Graham Middleton, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for business development, said temporary arrangements are in place for tenants to park at the former Nar Ouse Regeneration Area (NORA) site office, though Mr Lawrence suggested rubble left at the site made that difficult.

Mr Middleton added that the council are looking at ways to improve the parking and public transport near the centre.

He said: “The King’s Lynn Innovation Centre is working well and is almost fully occupied. This success has led to some parking issues at the centre which have been highlighted.

“The busier the centre becomes the greater the pressure on the car parking on site.”

On other issues raised by Mr Lawrence, Mr Middleton said they were looking to upgrade the entry system so reception staff can respond when they are not at the desk.

He added: “There have been a few minor issues that you would get with any building and these are reported and resolved as quickly as possible.

“We have assured tenants that we are working on these matters.”

The row comes as a special meeting of the authority’s audit committee next Monday, February 10, is due to discuss the findings of a cross-party group set up to examine its handling of the KLIC issue.

But it is listed as an exempt item, meaning the debate is likely to take place in a closed session.



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