Red Loft secures grant for new office development near Braintree


A grant from the ‘Get Building Fund’ worth £7 million has been secured following a successful bid from Red Loft for Braintree District Council.

The funding will contribute to the development of an innovative enterprise centre, the latest building at the council’s Horizon 120 business and innovation park in Great Notley, on the outskirts of Braintree.

Neil Jervis, partner at Red Loft, said: “We are pleased to be continuing our long-standing partnership with Braintree District Council. Having worked on the Horizon 120 site since 2018, originally project managing land acquisition of the 26-hectare site, we are continuing to add value for BDC in 2021, with our teams able to provide an accelerated programme for the client – applying for, and successfully achieving, the £7m grant in only three months. A major landmark for the site, the enterprise centre will be a valuable asset for Braintree, creating significant new employment opportunities for residents, and providing crucial support for local small businesses.”

In addition, detailed planning permission has now been confirmed via the Horizon 120 Local Development Order, having been adopted in April 2020 and crafted by a multi-disciplinary team, which was led by Red Loft associates but also included councillors. The design code incorporated by the LDO is based on first-class architectural and environmental standards, and has made the shortlist for the RTPI national awards.  

The Horizon 120 project has been supported by Red Loft since 2018, with the firm managing both land acquisition and development. The successful application for this grant is the latest in a series of key milestones for the partnership, including the delivery of £75 million worth of commercial developments which form part of the council’s long-term strategic investment programme for the area.

Other major infrastructure works for the Horizon 120 Park included enabling the delivery of Europe’s first fully electric car charging forecourt, which opened in December 2020. The electric forecourt charges up to 36 cars at a time with 100% renewable energy and delivers 350KW of charging power – enough to add 200 miles of driving range in 20 minutes. The clean energy is provided by one of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farms, as well as overhead solar canopies and a battery capable of storing enough energy to drive 24,000 miles.

The delivery of the new enterprise centre will comprise a state-of-the-art co-working environment, as well as a range of serviced offices and an equipped maker-space, plus meeting rooms, boardrooms and event spaces – providing a significant boost for local businesses once complete.