Cabinet: Barking Enterprise Centre future to be discussed tonight

The Barking Enterprise Centre, in Cambridge Road.

The Barking Enterprise Centre, in Cambridge Road. - Credit: Archant

The Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC) could be about to expand and operate under a new social enterprise, through plans to be discussed at cabinet tonight.

The Barking Enterprise Centre, in Cambridge Road.

The Barking Enterprise Centre, in Cambridge Road. - Credit: Archant

Funded by Barking and Dagenham Council until June, the Cambridge Road centre is one of the institutions losing out under the recent public-sector cuts.

Selling the building outright has been suggested, a valuation estimating a £1.1million pricetag in its existing role, £1.35 if used for general office space or £1.6million if converted into homes – all lower than the original £3.4million building costs.

But officers will propose setting up a social enterprise – opening up more exterior funding opportunities – to manage the BEC and collect the business rent.

Expansion into The Foyer, in nearby Wakering Road, a nine-storey tower block bedsit currently providing accommodation for 116 young people, is also possible.


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Anglo-Spanish company Tradex Consultancy UK, are one of the many start-ups calling the BEC home, launching in January 2014.

Currently setting up a second office in Malaga, chief executive Juan Jose Galicia looked at various locations across the capital before setting up business in Barking and has no plans to leave.

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“It’s a great location – reasonably close to central London, which is crucial for our clients,” he said.

“The fact that it’s a business centre, as opposed to an office, is brilliant for us too and much better environment to work in.

“There are plenty of networking opportunities – very important in helping the business grow.”

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