A new £140m industrial park is officially open for business following the appointment of a development partner and the sale of its first plot of land.
Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe), a joint venture by Durham County Council and local landowners the Forrest family, has signed an agreement with Richardson Barberry to develop the 110-acre site.
With the signing of this agreement, the park has also announced development work has started on the first plot of land at the site.
As revealed on Aycliffe Today in January, the roadside retail development by Euro Garages will see a petrol filling station built which will include a convenience store attached to the filling station and a stand-alone KFC drive-through restaurant.
The ambition is that over the next 10 years, the park will provide 1.8m square feet 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 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Richardson Barberry has committed to seeing the project through and has signed a development deal.
The site is an extension of Aycliffe Business Park, making that the largest in the North East.
It will accommodate a range of business, industrial, warehouse and trade units, as well as a 60-bed hotel, public house, roadside restaurant and retail space next to the A1(M).
The signing of the agreement with Richardson Barberry and the first development by Euro Garages are significant steps in the first stages of the park’s progress and demonstrate a continued developer confidence in the county as a place to invest.
The park is part of the council’s long-term ambitions to create a thriving environment for businesses and investors to develop and grow while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs. This will also be crucial to the county’s economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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.”
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.”
Neil Findlay, development manager for Euro Garages, said: “Working closely with the Forrest Park 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.”
Pictured above: Cllr Carl Marshall, centre, Neil Findlay, left, and Jonathan Robinson, right, at the EuroGarages site at Forrest Park.