Gateway 14 continues to take shape as £18million agreed for Skills and Innovation Centre

Funding of £18.8m has been agreed to create a Skills & Innovation Centre at Gateway 14

Funding of £18.8m has been agreed to create a Skills & Innovation Centre at Gateway 14 in Stowmarket – the latest development there to support business, create jobs, and boost the local economy.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s plan for the new three-storey centre at Gateway 14, part of the Freeport East site, includes office space for high growth start-ups, collaboration spaces, training and meeting rooms, as well as a café.

Freeport East agreed £16.66million funding for the state-of-the-art centre in March, and on Tuesday, 14 May, Mid Suffolk’s Cabinet agreed an updated funding strategy to meet the remaining costs.

Cllr Andy Mellen, Mid Suffolk District Council leader, said: “This is a significant moment for what is a really exciting project. This centre will create a fantastic talent pipeline for local businesses – with a particular focus on the green economy, digital and AI technology.

“Crucially, it will bring businesses and training together in the same centre. This will not only help bridge the skills gap, it will help firms to grow and innovate, and encourage more inward investment.”
Steve Beel, Chief Executive for Freeport East, said: "We are pleased to witness the excellent progress at Gateway 14, where sustainability lies at the heart of the development vision. The Skills and Innovation Centre would not be possible without the funding mechanisms made available by the freeport model, but it is the close and collaborative working between Mid Suffolk District Council, Gateway 14 and Freeport East that drives this success.

"The new centre, along with other recent announcements, significantly strengthens our ability to market the Stowmarket and Mid Suffolk area to various companies, both in the UK and internationally. This positions our region as one of the top choices for inward investment in the UK."

Mid Suffolk is working in partnership with West Suffolk College and the universities of Suffolk and Essex on the project, which will now go into the pre-planning and technical design phase.

The news is the latest in a series of developments at Gateway 14, which is being developed by Gateway 14 Ltd - wholly owned by Mid Suffolk District Council - and its development partner Jaynic.

Two businesses specialising in sustainable and eco-friendly building materials have announced plans to move to the site. 

And later today (15 May), Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee will also hear a reserved matters application for a 164,796 sq ft manufacturing and distribution unit at the entrance to the park. 

Cllr Richard Winch, cabinet member for housing and property, said: “Everything happening at Gateway 14 will create opportunities for local people – whether that’s jobs, new training, or a place for innovative businesses to grow, collaborate and thrive.

“It is putting itself on the UK map as an emerging centre for green and high-tech industries.”
Sir Christopher Haworth, chairman of Gateway 14 Ltd, said: “We already have a cluster of innovative businesses seeking to move in. Alongside the planned Skills and Innovation Centre, people can now see the exciting opportunities that these will bring.”
Ben Oughton, Jaynic’s development director, added: “Gateway 14 is continuing to make great progress and potential occupiers are recognising its huge benefits – including its Freeport status and excellent connectivity to the A14. It is bringing significant investment to Mid Suffolk.”

Just six months ago, the business park’s first unit was handed over to The Range for a new logistics and distribution centre, creating 1,650 jobs. 

Gateway 14