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Ashwood Business Park in Northumberland is set to benefit from a £4 million investment from major international forecourt operator Euro Garages.
The company plans to build a circa 8,000 sq ft development on the site in South East Northumberland, which will include a petrol filling station, convenience store, and drive-through Starbucks outlet. It will create 50 full and part-time jobs, with a further 40 jobs through construction work. The scheme will provide important amenities and services for existing users on the site as well as local residents and passing trade upon the busy A189. It represents a new gateway offer that will illuminate and animate the entrance of this newly defined business park.
The 62-acre Ashwood Business Park was acquired by Advance Northumberland in 2018 and is at the heart of one of the North East’s strongest manufacturing clusters. It is a North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Enterprise Zone, meaning that organisations locating there can benefit from 100 per cent Enhanced Capital Allowances.
The vision for the site is to increase its presence as a new centre for advanced manufacturing, the process industry and the engineering sector in North East England. Ashwood Business Park is already home to a major AkzoNobel paint processing facility and the headquarters of housing provider Bernicia Homes.
Euro Garages, which is based in Blackburn, has exchanged conditional contracts with Ashwood Business Park owners Advance Northumberland to purchase the two acre site and has submitted a planning application for the development.
The planned investment from Euro Garages marks another step forward in the development of Ashwood Business Park. In February this year, £2.7 million was secured from Advance Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and the North East LEP for infrastructure improvements to encourage further inward investment and growth projects at the site.
Euro Garages was founded in 2001 by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and has established itself as one of the UK’s fastest growing and most recognisable forecourt operators, with an expanding portfolio of around 4500 sites across the UK, mainland Europe, the USA and Australia. The company has invested £6 million in the installation of renewable energy sources across its UK estate and committed £2.6 million to providing solar panels to more than 20 per cent of its sites.
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. Ashwood Business Park boasts Birchwood Industrial Estate, which is owned by Advance Northumberland and comprises approximately 40,000 sq ft of fully let commercial space.
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.
Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland said, “We’re delighted that Euro Garages has committed to building new amenities at Ashwood Business Park – and it’s fantastic to be welcoming a company of their calibre to the site.
“The petrol station and retail offering from Euro Garages will enhance Ashwood Business Park’s infrastructure and further boost its appeal to investors looking for a well-connected location within a vibrant manufacturing cluster and with a highly skilled workforce on the doorstep.
“Ashwood Business Park is a place where businesses can develop and expand, and we have seen from the success of AkzoNobel and Bernicia Homes how companies can thrive at this prime location.”
Neil Findlay, Development Manager, of Euro Garages said, “We are delighted to exchange contracts with Advance Northumberland on this development site within the Ashwood Business Park. Working in close partnership with Advance Northumberland we firmly believe that our first in class roadside services will be an asset to the park and the wider Ashington area.”
Andrew Moffat, CBE, Chair of the Investment Board at the North East LEP, said: “The arrival of Euro Garages to Ashwood Business Park will further cement this Enterprise Zone as a very attractive prospect for investors. The site is in a prime location and businesses locating there will benefit from tax breaks and a range of interventions – we look forward to this site attracting many more businesses and creating more and better jobs for our residents.”
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.