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The creation of a new centre for advanced manufacturing, the process industry and the engineering sector in Northumberland has moved a step closer, thanks to a multi-million pound investment.
Advance Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) have agreed to support investment of £2.7 million into Ashwood Business Park in Ashington.
Ashwood Business Park is a NELEP Enterprise Zone, meaning that organisations locating there can benefit from 100 per cent Enhanced Capital Allowances. Situated in South East Northumberland, the 62-acre site is at the heart of one of the North East’s strongest manufacturing clusters.
The business park is currently home to a major AzkoNobel paint processing facility and the headquarters of housing provider Bernicia Homes. The site also boasts Birchwood Industrial Estate, which is owned by Advance Northumberland and comprises approximately 40,000 sq ft of fully let commercial space.
The funding will be used by Advance Northumberland to undertake infrastructure improvements to encourage further inward investment and growth projects at Ashwood Business Park. The infrastructure work will ensure that the site is prepared for use by advanced manufacturing, process and engineering companies who wish to locate to Ashwood Business Park.
Plots available at Ashwood Business Park, which is one of the largest development sites in Northumberland, are from 50,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft. A variety of industrial units can be developed, with tenure options ranging from a freehold sale to a bespoke, turnkey solution on a short-term lease.
The site is close to the A1 and A19 road links with easy access to the Port of Blyth and Newcastle International Airport.
Last year, a new masterplan for Ashwood Business Park was revealed by Advance Northumberland, centred around making the site a fulcrum for further industrial growth in the region. The vision for the Park is to create a centre for manufacturing excellence, an employment hub and a primed site capable of development ready for significant inward investors. The site will also establish an amenity gateway which will include a petrol filling station and key services for the businesses and employees on the park.
Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland said, “The agreement to support investment into new infrastructure at Ashwood Business Park is a major step forward in creating a place where organisations can grow and thrive, and take advantage of a highly skilled workforce, superb location and excellent transport links in the heart of Northumberland.
“We’re delighted that Advance Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and the NELEP have come together to help turn the vision for Ashwood Business Park into reality and to develop a major asset for both Northumberland and the wider North East.”
Helen Golightly, Chief Executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said, “The North East Enterprise Zone sites are strategically placed adjacent to successful business clusters and key transport routes.
“We have invested in the Ashwood Business Park by supporting key infrastructure and improved road access for this important site which, when coupled with the fact that there is up to 100 per cent Enhanced Capital Allowances for those businesses locating on to the site, will make Ashwood Business Park a very attractive proposition for investors.
“We look forward to the site creating more and better jobs in the years to come.”
Advance Northumberland is the regeneration, physical delivery and business support vehicle delivering regeneration throughout Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council. It has a portfolio of assets and land worth £250 million and can support businesses with access to finance, training and recruitment advice, supply chain connections and introductions to external support programme and business networks.