A NEW state-of-the-art £24million business park designed to create 2,000 jobs and "put Braintree on the map" has moved a step nearer to completion.

The roads and infrastructure at the Horizon 120 Innovation Park, in Great Notley, have been completed 15 months after building work began.

Work has also finished on the landscaping and the creation of a pond and wildlife habitat.

Wildflower meadows and more than 300 trees have been planted to attract animals, and 'dark sky'-friendly street lighting installed to cut light pollution.

Balfour Beatty has finished two access roads from the A131 and connected the business park to power, data, water, sewage and gas systems.

The new roads mean contractors can start work on the buildings.

Building work on the first two commercial units is already underway and a third is due to be started in the autumn.

The 65-acre business park will offers high quality office, distribution and manufacturing spaces.

There will also be a new enterprise centre with conference facilities, a cafe and plaza area.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Richard Torgbor, Andy Wright, Cllr Tom Cunningham, Cllr Graham Butland, Dominic Collins, Ray Ford and Cllr Kevin Bowers

Braintree Council bought the Horizon 120 site in December 2018 in a bid to attract new firms into the district and create high-quality jobs.

Deputy leader Tom Cunningham said: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone which will now allow the construction work on the commercial units to move forward.

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"We are creating something special at Horizon 120 – a modern, green and future-proofed business park – which will benefit our local economy and put Braintree on the map.

"Our investment is attracting new businesses, bringing quality jobs and creating opportunities which will pay dividends for many years to come.”

The Marshgate Group is working with businesses on designs for the new facilities.

Managing director David Warburton said: “The completion of the roads and infrastructure means that we can now move on with the development of the commercial buildings and spaces.

"It’s the key to unlocking the potential of this employment site and a major step forward in enabling its delivery.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

An artist's impression of the new centre