Flying progress of Airport Business Park Southend as new rugby club opens

Published Thursday, 9th January 2020

Front entrance of rugby club buillding.

The council’s cabinet will receive a detailed update on the impressive progress of Airport Business Park Southend (ABPS) (Cabinet, Thursday 16th January 2020).

Councillors will hear how work on the phase one site infrastructure has almost finished, with phase two underway which includes the completion of further utilities and the road loop around the business park.

Westcliff Rugby Club has also successfully relocated into a new 10,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, with four senior rugby pitches and a further six junior pitches and training areas.

The Launchpad, a dedicated facility designed to champion innovation in the area for start-ups and SME’s recently receiving planning permission from Rochford District Council, and a procurement process will take place this year to select an operator for the building, and £180,000 of sustainable cities funding has also been secured by the council’s energy team to improve the building’s environmental credentials.

Construction is well underway on a 124,000 sq. ft. unit for first occupier, IPECO Holdings, which will move into its new home in 2020 and discussions and negotiation with a number of interested parties continues through HBD and the appointed agents. 

The project progress is thanks to a budgeted public investment of £31m, of which £23m is from South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and £8m from the council’s capital budget.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said:  “With the opening of the new Westcliff RFC clubhouse and playing pitches, this marks an exciting new chapter for the newly promoted club and local rugby fans, and is also an exciting next step in the development of the Airport Business Park Southend.

“The site is vital to drive opportunity, prosperity and economic growth of both Southend-on-Sea and the wider region. It will create more local employment, and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, local business to expand and new ones to invest.”

Leader of Rochford District Council, Cllr Mike Steptoe, said: “I would like to wish Westcliff Rugby Club all the best in their new purpose-built facilities; it was great to see their new home which offers exciting opportunities for the years ahead.

“This is a significant step in the Airport Business Park project, with IPECO holdings due to move into its new home early in the New Year. This site offers a world-class industrial park designed to attract businesses that want opportunities for growth, while bringing economic prosperity to both Rochford District and Southend.”

To view the Cabinet Report for Thursday 16 January 2020 please visit our Democracy pages.

Photos of the new rugby club are available on our Flickr site.

A birds eye computer generated image of ABPS is available on our Flicker site.