A new £140 million industrial park is officially open for business following the appointment of a development partner and the sale of its first plot of land.
Organised by Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe) Limited, a joint venture by Durham County Council and local landowners the Forrest family; the group has signed a development agreement with Richardson Barberry to develop the 110-acre site.
Commenting on the agreement, Cllr Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The signing of this development agreement by Richardson Barberry is a significant milestone for Forrest Park, as it declares globally that the park is officially open for business.
“This first sale of land is just the start of what the park has to offer in boosting the county’s economy, particularly in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, by attracting international investors to the county from across the globe and in turn creating thousands of high-quality jobs for our local residents. We look forward to welcoming more retailers and businesses to the park as its development grows.”
With the signing of the development agreement, the park has also announced that work has started on the first plot of land at the site which will be a roadside retail development by Euro Garages.
Once complete, the retail development will include a petrol filling station, convenience store and a stand-alone KFC drive-through restaurant.
Neil Findlay, development manager for Euro Garages, said: “Working closely with the Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe) Limited team, we were delighted to complete the acquisition of this site at Forrest Park. As an organisation we look forward to bringing our first in class roadside retail offer to the park and the wider Newton Aycliffe area.”
The site extends on Aycliffe Business Park to become the largest in the North East and will accommodate a range of business, industrial, warehouse and trade units, as well as a 60-bed hotel, public house and roadside restaurant and retail space next to the A1(M).
The ambition amongst all parties is that over the next 10 years; the park will provide 1.8m sq ft of industrial space and create over 3,000 jobs, boosting County Durham’s economy by almost half-a-billion pounds.
To ensure the park is fully developed, despite any difficult times that may be ahead, Richardson Barberry has committed to seeing the project through.
Jonathan Robinson, Barberry Industrial director and shareholder, said: “Barberry, and 50/50 joint venture partners Richardson, are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North East’s premier business parks, stimulating economic growth and creating new jobs for the region.
“We have made significant progress over recent months, and we are now delighted to be in the position to launch the site to potential occupiers. This is a highly attractive location for a range of major businesses, with units available in a wide range of sizes.
“We can provide building options for smaller occupiers on the trade park and bigger building options of circa 20,000 square feet to one million square feet footprint on the site. Local, regional, national and international occupiers have already expressed interest in this prominent, motorway-connected, serviced and consented site, which is oven-ready for development and has access to an excellent, skilled labour demographic.”
Featured Image: (from left) Neil Findlay (Euro Garages), Councillor Carl Marshall (Durham County Council) and Jon Robinson (Richardson Barberry)