Devon County Council has launched a search for operators to run its new North Devon Enterprise Centre.

The centre is being built at the council’s new business park development in Roundswell.

When complete it will offer high quality office and collaboration space and tailored support for entrepreneurs, from start-ups to more established small and medium sized businesses looking to expand.

The centre will accommodate up to 35 high-growth businesses in digital, engineering, media, health, tech and environmental sectors.

The process to find an expert operator to run the centre and deliver that support started on Monday (June 8), with tenders invited via an online portal.

It comes as the council has unveiled a further glimpse of what the centre will look like when it opens next year.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for economy and skills, said: “The Enterprise Centre will be a vital asset for northern Devon as our local economy looks to bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This striking image of the centre demonstrates what an impressive facility this will be when it’s up and running.

“It will certainly appeal to businesses as the right kind of location that will help them to grow and it will provide individually tailored support to assist entrepreneurs to achieve their aspirations.

“This scheme is a great example of how partners are working closely together to benefit our local economy and I’m sure everyone can’t wait for it to open. Launching the procurement for an operator illustrates the excellent progress being made on this project.”

The £5million project is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal, and Devon County Council.

It has been designed to complement the new Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence at Petroc.

County councillor for Fremington Rural, Frank Biederman, said: “It’s fantastic to see this project moving forward and the building now taking shape. This clearly is going to be such an important asset to support business start-ups here in Northern Devon.

“It looks like young people are going to find it toughest to get on the job market post Covid, so giving them the opportunity to be entrepreneurs and having the wrap around support is going to be a fantastic opportunity for those that are lucky enough to get a space; its timing could not be better. I wish to thank all our officers involved in the bidding, planning and design of this project.”

For more information about the Enterprise Centre, contact Chris Bouchard on 01392 351052 or by emailing chris.bouchard@nps.co.uk