A North East development site with the potential to create more than 3,000 jobs is being promoted as an investment opportunity by the Government on an international level.
Forrest Park in Newton Aycliffe is one of 11 projects to feature in a property portfolio, launched by the Department for International Trade to showcase the wide array of opportunities on offer in the UK to foreign investors.
The projects within the portfolio offer investment opportunities totalling £2.2 billion and were chosen to demonstrate Britain’s strengths in key sectors, from manufacturing and green energy production, to tourism, business and housing.
A joint venture by Durham County Council and the Forrest family, supported by commercial property developer Richardson Barberry, Forrest Park is described as an opportunity for an investor interested in “high specification industrial and logistics propositions.”
The 52-hectare site is located just off the A1 and its development for private sector manufacturing and commercial use would extend Aycliffe Business Park to become the largest in the North East. The £140m development also has the potential to create 3,200 jobs and boost County Durham’s economy by almost half a billion pounds over the next 20 years.
Richardson Barberry has submitted a planning application for 1.75 million sq ft of business, industrial and warehouse units on the site, which is now ready for development to commence. Major highways, signalisation, drainage and power upgrades have all been completed, including the creation of a new traffic light controlled junction on the A167.
The Government’s portfolio was first unveiled at MIPIM, the world’s largest property exhibition in Cannes, France, last month. More than 23,000 people attended the event, including investment representatives from more than 100 countries.
Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We are thrilled Forrest Park has been included in the Government’s property investment portfolio.
“Not only does this promote the scheme to international investors but it showcases County Durham and the wider region as a place of growth and opportunity.
“Many global businesses have already chosen the North East as a base for their UK operations and Forrest Park is our chance to attract even more investment into County Durham.”
Jonathan Robinson, on behalf of Richardson Barberry, said: “We are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North East’s premier business parks and it’s great to see that it is being promoted as an extremely attractive investment opportunity to an international audience.
“Working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the Local Enterprise Partnership, our vision is to create a business park that provides a wide range of high quality accommodation which will attract local, regional, national and international occupiers, stimulating economic growth and new jobs for the North East. We were proud to announce the scheme at MIPIM.”