A PLANNING bid for a brand new innovation centre which could create 130 new jobs has been submitted.

Braintree Council says its I-Construct hub plan will create a 'centre of excellence' for construction on Braintree’s Springwood Industrial Estate.

If it gets the go ahead, it will be home to a team offering advice, grants and support to small and medium sized firms in the construction industry.

Councillor John McKee, said: "This hub will provide a focal point for business support and product development opportunities.

"The impact of this on business growth, high quality job creation and prospects for people in and around Essex is huge.

"We want to make our district an attractive place to do business, creating more jobs for our residents which is why our investment into this project is so important."

The plans for the two-storey building include a workshop, demonstration spaces, a technology lab, conference and networking facilities, café and meeting areas.

Bosses say the types of innovative technologies could include robotics, 3D printers and modelling software and, if planning permission is granted, work is expected to start at the end of this year.

The project is being funded by Braintree Council and a grant from the European Regional Development Fund but the building would be managed by the Haven Gateway Partnership and would serve the South East Local Enterprise Partnership region of Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

Haven director Anita Thornberry said: "We’re excited to be leading on this project supporting productivity in the construction sector and its supply chain.

"The construction industry is vital to our economy and quality of life, but it faces major structural challenges including labour shortages, lack of investment and low productivity.

"We want to help companies overcome these issues through grants, technology and support for innovation so they can secure new business, become more competitive and operate more efficiently.

"This project aims to launch 150 new products or services and has the potential to create up to 130 new jobs."