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Plans Submitted for £140m Business Park Expansion

Commercial People has learned that developers Richardson and Barberry have submitted plans to deliver a £140 million business park in the North East which could create thousands of new jobs for the region.

Intended as an expansion of Aycliffe Business Park which currently houses over 500 companies and approximately 10,000 employees, the 116-acre Forrest Park site has already attracted £13m worth of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership and could create 3,200 jobs, boosting the local economy to £495m over the next 10 to 15 years.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The submitting of this application is a major milestone towards delivering thousands of jobs to the Newton Aycliffe area.

“This is a joint venture between the council and the Forrest family, and is just one of a number of sites the council is bringing forward to help deliver long-term economic growth and prosperity for the people of County Durham.”

Barberry X Forrest Park
‘An aerial view of the site of Forrest Park, near Durham.’

Speaking on the planning proposals, Jonathan Robinson, Barberry Developments director, said: “Working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), our vision is to create a business park that provides a wide range of high quality accommodation to attract major investment and jobs to the region.

“The LEP funding clearly illustrates a valuable commitment to fast-tracking the new infrastructure improvements, including a new 24MW primary substation, connecting services, and a new highways access that will enable us to bring forward the development pipeline and investment necessary to attract occupiers and new jobs to the North East.”

The planning application which includes proposals for a range of business, industrial and distribution units varying in size from 30,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft, will have over 1.75 million sq ft of accommodation, a decision is expected in April.

Ben Holmes, a director on behalf of Richardson, said: “It’s great to see the Forrest Park proposals making real progress and we are delighted to be working alongside both new and existing joint venture partners to deliver this important development.

“This will be our fourth major project in the region in recent years, having already delivered two phases at Freemans Reach in Durham, and adding to our existing Milburngate project. Richardson and Barberry have a successful and longstanding relationship that spans over 35 years, having completed numerous developments together. We are very much looking forward to working together again to deliver 1.75 million sq ft of employment space.”

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