FIVE companies have finally moved into a problematic business hub that has taken nearly two years to fill.

Osier House, off Swan Street, Sible Hedingham was completed at the turn of last year, but the transfer of ownership from developer Bloors Home to Braintree District Council took longer than expected.

As a result, the plush modern office suites, which have been built as part of the major Earls Garden development alongside 193 new village homes, have been left vacant and without occupants for more than 15 months.

Braintree District Council have now, however, announced that five businesses have successful moved into the rural work centre.

Cllr John McKee, cabinet member for corporate transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “We’re pleased to be able to provide a facility which offers opportunities for small businesses.

“This hub is a great proposition offering modern and cost-effective office spaces.

“We’re delighted with the level of uptake, and it just goes to show how we’ve managed to fill a gap in the supply of suitable accommodation for these small firms”.

The five companies who can now call the Osier House their home are P & P Technology, Central Services Group, LGP Europe, AJ Epping and Central Security Limited, as well as an additional 14 people who use the building as their workplace.

The two-storey office building was acquired by the council in a bid to support new local companies and existing small businesses looking to develop their brand and customer base in the Sible Hedingham area.

Cllr Tom Cunningham, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “This business hub allows us to offer practical support to local start-ups and small businesses looking to grow in the more rural communities within our district.

“It has the potential to generate more local jobs and will be a real boost to this village community.

We wish all these businesses the very best for the future.”