Two projects that form part of the regeneration of Stevenage town centre have been delayed.

£6m of Towns Fund money for the construction of Stevenage Enterprise Centre and Stevenage Innovation and Technology Centre (SITEC) was due to be spent in 2023/24, but has now been moved to 2024/25.

The business cases for both projects, submitted last year, gave spring 2024 as a provisional completion date.

Stevenage Development Board made the proposal to "move the ... projects and profile money into the next financial year", stating that it would "free up time and resources for the projects", enabling them "to work on delivery options with partners".

The decision was then confirmed by Stevenage Borough Council at an executive meeting earlier this month.

A report provided to councillors ahead of that meeting stated the reason for shifting the funding: "Officers are continuing to define the delivery mechanisms with partners for the projects...and having the funds available next financial year will place the council in the best position possible for [them] to be delivered."

The Towns Fund funding profile for 2023/24 included £4m for Stevenage Enterprise Centre and £2m for SITEC. Stevenage received a total of £37.5m from the Fund, which must be spent in full by the end of March 2026.

SITEC will be a new, purpose-built facility providing courses and apprenticeships for 400-500 students per year, ranging from Level 3 to Level 5.

Phase one of the project - which did not require fresh construction work - opened earlier this year.

The entire project is expected to cost £10m, and will be built either on the existing North Herts College campus or at a new location in the town centre.

It will be funded with £5m from the Towns Fund (with the remaining £3m already allocated to other years), £3m from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and £2m from the private sector.


The business case for SITEC, dated February 2022, provided a delivery programme that it described as "realistic and achievable", and said that "construction will be completed by the end of May 2024", with the building opening for students in the 2024/25 academic year.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise Centre will provide space for labs, workshops, offices and co-working. It is expected to cost £12.7m, with £4m from the Towns Fund, £1m of other public sector funding, and £7.7m from the private sector.  

The business case for the Enterprise Centre, also dated February 2022, gave a forecast completion date of January 2024, "but with a three-month allowance built in to allow for possible delays...up to April 2024".

Council officers expect the Enterprise Centre, when built, to create around 59 new jobs and generate an extra £3.37m for the local economy each year.

Reef, the developer for the Centre, had been expected to purchase the Queensway unit that is currently occupied by Poundland, but it is understood that a range of locations within the town centre are now being considered.

Other projects that secured Towns Fund money and are yet to be built include the Sport and Leisure Hub and the National New Towns Heritage Centre.

A spokesperson for Stevenage Borough Council said: “The spend profile for some of the projects has been moved into the next financial year.

"Utilising the funds at this stage will enable continued delivery of these projects which remain ongoing without impact."