A GOVERNMENT minister has toured a site in Highbridge earmarked for a major new business development.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman came to the town last Thursday to see a site next to the Isleport Business Park where a new enterprise centre will be built.

The centre, which has been supported by the Government's Rural Growth Network, will provide ten business premises with superfast broadband and the services of a business mentor.

The Government announced in March that Somerset and Devon had been selected as one of five pilot regions for the RGN, with an award of £2.9 million.

Mrs Spelman met representatives of Somerset County Council and its partner organisations in the RGN bid, Devon County Council and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, which are working together in the pilot to add 1,300 jobs and £58 million to the two counties' economies.

David Hall, Somerset County Councillor with responsibility for economic development, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Caroline Spelman to Highbridge to see one area where the Somerset and Devon pilot will be making a difference.

“The Rural Growth Network will bolster the council efforts with our partners in Devon County Council and the LEP to increase the opportunities for small businesses to make a strong and sustainable start and encourage job and wealth creation across the county.”

Mrs Spelman added: “We are funding Devon and Somerset's Rural Growth Network to help ensure that no great business idea is held back by the challenges of a remote location.

“Local entrepreneurs will have new chances to achieve their business potential, boosting the rural economy and supporting a thriving local community.”