BUSINESSMAN Richard Slee may be no ‘casino banker’, but he is betting that his move to become the first tenant of St Ives’s £1.1million energy-efficient enterprise centre in Caxton Road will turn out to be a good bet.

His company, Security Systems Design Limited, designs and installs integrated security systems, specialising in casinos, though it has also works for oil companies overseas, local authorities, housing associations, in the finance and business sectors and at the Construction Industry Training Board’s headquarters at Bircham Newton in Norfolk.

For Mr Slee, who has lived in Colne for the past six years and has been in the industry for 35 years, the opportunity to move his nine-year-old company into the innovative enterprise centre turned up at a time when he was looking for bigger premises in which to test equipment before shipping it to clients’ sites for installation.

Current casino contracts include the new Hippodrome in London’s Leicester Square and the Playboy Club, currently under construction in Mayfair.

“We have got a lot of business over the last 18 months, in spite of the recession,” he told The Hunts Post. “So I employ three engineers and also use various subcontractors. We’re doing all right at the moment.”

The Caxton Road site, on St Ives’s original industrial estate used to be the town’s base for Huntingdonshire District Council’s operations division, particularly for refuse collection. It was closed when the whole district’s activity moved to Latham Road, off the A141 in Huntingdon.

Also part funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, the recently-opened enterprise centre now consists of eight industrial workspaces and six offices aimed at both start up and fledgling companies. SSD has two of the units.

The ‘green’ design features include air source heat pumps, climate control, low energy lighting, inside and out, use of rain water for toilet flushing, and sedum roofs for enhanced insulation.

As an additional incentive for potential tenants, the smaller units fall below the £6,000 rateable value threshold for small business rate relief, so no business rates will be due up to September 2011 and only 50 per cent the year after, HDC says.