Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA)– Development opportunities in Weston of M527 Aug 2013
Areas surrounding Junction 21 of the M5 Weston-super-Mare have been identified by The West of England LEP for business growth with a view to attracting investment and creating new jobs. The Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA) is one of 5 areas that have been identified for growth across the West of England over the course of the next 20 years.
Why Junction 21 Enterprise Area?
North Somerset is a fantastic place to put down roots from a personal and business point of view and is benefiting from high investment to improve local facilities and bring new businesses to the local area. Recent examples include the £35m investment into Weston’s seafront enhancements and the construction of Knightstone Housing HQ by Dowlas. The 40,000 square foot building being the 2nd largest commercial building to go up outside of London in 2012.
A skilled workforce
There is an excellent highly skilled workforce in Weston. Many of its workforce currently commute to the surrounding cities of Bristol or Bath but could relish opportunities closer to home. North Somerset itself benefits from over 46% of its residents being employed in managerial, associate professional and technical roles. The future is also bright on this front with good educational results being achieved, almost 80% of GCSE’s taken resulted in 5+ A*-C grades in 2011. And A level exam results have been well above the England average in 2011 as well. Plus Weston College are planning to build a Technical College in the town for 700 pupils specialising in engineering, maths, science and technology which is due to open in August 2015.
The local economy in North Somerset
North Somerset benefits from a diverse range of businesses operating in various market sectors with over 7,000 businesses including a strong industrial focus of businesses working in engineering, defence, food and manufacturing to leisure, catering and tourism and a good coverage of agricultural based businesses.
The various sites which make up the Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA)benefit from excellent transport links by being closely located to the M5 and 25 minutse drive to the interchange with the M4 providing easy access to London and the North. A £15m project is currently underway to improve junction 21. These transport improvements will benefit motorists and cyclists and pedestrians in Weston and Worle with the scheme helping to reduce congestion, improve traffic management and the flow of traffic, plus make it easier for people to make use of public transport.
72 hectares have been made available with outline planning permission from North Somerset Council who are offering help to simplify the planning process for B1 B2 and B8 employment generating developments.
Weston Gateway Business Park is most established of the business parks situated within the junction 21 enterprise area with building already started and infrastructure works on site already installed for electricity, gas, water and telecom’s. Weston Gateway Business Park will further benefits from a new Hungrey Horse pub on site, construction is well underway with the pub planning to open in February 2014.