“West Norfolk is open for business.”
That was the message from political and economic leaders this week as Lynn’s new multi-million pound Innovation Centre, known as KLIC, was formally opened.
Several firms have already moved their operations into the complex, which is in the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area and is part of a new regional enterprise zone launched in April.
And business leaders say that, when fully operational, it will be home to 60 new companies who, between them, are set to create 800 new jobs.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia local enterprise partnership, which contributed around £3 million of the £5 million cost of the project, said: “It couldn’t be more exciting than that.”
West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long said: “KLIC is a key manifestation of the borough council’s commitment to encouraging enterprise and business growth in West Norfolk.”
And Mr Long’s deputy, Alistair Beales, added: “This is a landmark building which makes a bold statement that the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area is open for business.”
Among the first firms to move into the complex is Anglia IT Solutions, which will have 20 staff in a new, expanded office at the site.
Director Terry Windsor said: “As a company which offers services for the latest in IT technology, it is the perfect fit to have offices in this state-of- the-art new facility.
“In addition, the new office will allow the company the space to continue to grow and develop in the coming months and years.”
The formal opening was carried out by Titan, a nine foot high robot which has previously graced Hollywood films and pop music videos.
Kevin Horne, chief executive of Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services, which will operate the centre, said that was meant to reflect the new ideas that will be generated in the building.
And he believes the building can become an iconic structure for the town’s future.
He said: “This building is the culmination of 20-odd years of work. We know what works and this will work.
“I want this building to be iconic. I remember going past and looking at Frigoscandia and the Campbell’s building. They were iconic landmarks for King’s Lynn.
“This building will become that kind of iconic landmark.”
More than a decade has now passed since the idea of an innovation centre for Lynn was first put forward.
And Mr Horne paid tribute to West Norfolk Council’s continuing backing of the project, and of business, during those years.
He said: “I deal with a lot of councils and there are some councils that will do and there are some councils that don’t.
“The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk fits very firmly into that category of councils that do.”