Felixstowe firms look for new homes

FIRMS in Felixstowe are concerned about a lack of small business units for new companies and larger places for successful ones to expand.A new report says some firms have had to move away from the resort to seek better premises.

FIRMS in Felixstowe are concerned about a lack of small business units for new companies and larger places for successful ones to expand.

A new report says some firms have had to move away from the resort to seek better premises.

“In Felixstowe there is perceived to be no office space, with all business space being taken up by housing,” said the document, which looks into the key concerns and issues facing over 4,000 businesses in the Suffolk Coastal area.

“There is a lack of managed workspace and incubation offices so it is difficult to move away from home working or to expand an existing business.”


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Also highlighted is the disruption caused when the Orwell Bridge, dockspur roundabout and A14 are hit by accidents, or the port is closed, with businesses in Felixstowe complaining employees are unable to get to work and deliveries are affected.

There is also concern at the lack of support given to businesses at the commercial end of the seafront and the number of closed premises which gives a bad impression.

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Nick Boulter, chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Business Forum, which commissioned the Business Needs Research Report with support from the district council, said the document provided a fascinating snapshot of what businesses across the area are facing.

“We at the business forum will be working with our partners to use the results to build on the existing strengths of local businesses and try to provide the services and support that they need,” he said.

As well as the concerns voiced in Felixstowe, the survey highlights skill shortages in the agricultural, hospitality and logistics sectors, with businesses criticising the levels of numeracy and literacy among applicants.

Businesses were struggling to cope with a tripling in energy/utility costs, and also thought health and safety regulations were too onerous.

“Among the areas where they felt they needed more help or support are planning regulations, recycling, marketing, and IT/website development, while there was a general request for more help during the early months of going into business,” said Mr Boulter.

“This survey covered all types and sizes of businesses, and many of them reported that they had no business plan or strategy in place, although they recognised the need for one. This could well be another area where we need to offer more advice and support.”

Where should more business units be built in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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