COUNCIL bosses have set aside more than £1 million to help build a new technology centre which will bring millions of extra pounds to the economy.

The Basildon Innovation Warehouse planned for the Green Centre, in Wat Tyler Country Park, will be filled with advanced science and technology equipment to boost business skills in the area.

It is hoped the warehouse will attract entrepreneurs and businesses who will be able to use the centre to share ideas and come up with further advancements in technology.

Basildon Council will provide £1.2m in funding for the project, with the remaining £850,000 coming from the South Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership.

Labour councillor Aidan McGurran, chairman of the external affairs, partnerships and liaison committee, said: “While our local digital, creative and ICT economic sector is growing at a phenomenal rate, we are providing a well thought-out place for these new, ambitious businesses to expand into and create a stronger economy.

“The innovation warehouse will hothouse local skills and entrepreneurs to support the next generation of successful businesses, including high-tech ventures in the vital science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sectors.

“We’re going to address the challenges people face commuting out of the borough by creating a vibrant and attractive hub for local and regional entrepreneurs.

“By combining an inspiring environment with specialist facilities, equipment and business we are looking at approximately 80 new jobs coming from the innovation warehouse in its first year and many more thereafter. Flourishing enterprises based within the innovation warehouse will help to contribute millions of pounds into the local economy.”

The centre is expected to provide affordable and flexible accommodation, as well as links to key businesses in the area.

Although based in Basildon, it will operate an open-door policy to entrepreneurs.

The partnership is set to rubber stamp the £850,000 it will provide for the project later this week. The cash will only become available once planning permission is secured.