Development partner announced for £140m business park

Jonathan Robinson, of Barberry Developments

West Midland developer Richardson Barberry has been announced as the development partner for a new £140m business park in the North East.

The appointment, announced today (Thursday) at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, will see the company deliver more than 1.75 million sq ft of commercial space.

The developer has signed an agreement with joint venture partner Forrest Park Newton Aycliffe for the expansion of Aycliffe Business Park, which is situated on the 116-acre Forrest Park site. The project will help accommodate a rail freight interchange.

A planning application for Forrest Park, at County Durham, will be submitted shortly to Durham County Council. The proposals include a range of business, industrial / distribution units varying in size from 30,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft, a trade park consisting of 11 units from 5,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft, and ancillary amenity uses including roadside food offerings / public house and restaurant.

Forrest Park – which has attracted £13m from the Local Enterprise Partnership – could create 3,200 jobs and deliver a gross value added economic boost to the area of £495m over the next 10 to 15 years.

A planning decision is expected later this year.

Jonathan Robinson, Barberry Developments director, said: “Working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the LEP, we will create a business park that provides a wide range of high quality accommodation that will attract major investment and jobs to the region.”

Aycliffe Business Park is already home to around 500 companies and around 10,000 employees. The preparatory groundworks, site infrastructure including new substation, service connections and highways improvements known as the Forrest Park enabling works began in 2016 and have now been completed.

Mr Robinson added: “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 LEP’s commitment has already provided comfort to several local, regional and international businesses we are speaking to, illustrating Forrest Park’s imminent delivery and opportunity to provide them with a suitable business premises that can satisfy their occupational requirements.”

Ben Holmes, director on behalf of Richardson, said: “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 delivering a circa 1.75millions sq ft scheme at Forrest Park.”

Richardson Barberry has recently started construction of the first phase of a multi-million pound business park in the South West. The phase 1 construction of a speculative development of five mid-box industrial units, totaling 170,000 sq ft is underway at the 40-acre site in Bristol, which was acquired by Richardson Barberry late last year.

Located at Central Park, Western Approach, the development will provide the final industrial phase of the already highly successful 350-acre park.

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