A £150m business park neighbouring Southend Airport is moving swiftly ahead - and plans have now been revealed for a base for new company start-ups.

The 30-acre Airport Business Park Southend is now under way with the first occupier IPECO Holdings, set to move in early next year.

Now, new plans have been revealed for a dedicated building to support start-ups and small to medium businesses.

The proposed three-storey Launchpad would have a mix of offices, workshops, research facilities and break out spaces, along with a cafe and seminar space.

The project would be funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund.

Harry Bunbury, senior development surveyor at developers Henry Boot Development London, said: “The Airport Business Park is an important scheme for Southend, with £150million being invested in delivering high-quality space and infrastructure and building a collaborative ecosystem that acts as a catalyst for growth.

“As neighbour to the fastest growing airport in Europe, and with links to national road and rail networks, it has seen strong interest from potential occupiers.

“The scheme continues to progress quickly, and we look forward to announcing new occupiers in the coming months.”

Bosses hope the business park will also include a new hotel, cafes and restaurants to entice potential new companies to the site.

Airport Business Park Southend forms a central part of an ambitious new vision for Southend, and will include flexible business space, HQ-style office buildings, large-scale industrial and warehousing space, hotel facilities and appropriate restaurants and cafes to occupy the space.

The business park proposal was initially kick-started with a £23 million Government grant matched by council cash.

The huge project is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs once it is completed.

The scheme will also boast superfast network speeds, in line with the Southend Council’s “Gigabit City” initiative.

Council bosses say the business park’s close proximity to Southend Airport and major road and rail connections is proving a huge draw for potential occupiers.

Kevin Robinson, Southend Labour councillor responsible for business, culture and tourism, said: “The Airport Business Park Southend is vital to driving opportunity, prosperity and economic growth of both Southend and the wider region.

“It will create more local employment, and provide opportunities for local business to expand and new ones to invest.”

He added: “I am delighted to see phase 2 works starting and the planning application submitted for the Launchpad – this is a building that will champion innovation and be a hub of activity at this exciting new development.”

on a 124,000 sq ft unit

about the size of 13 football pitches, is set to