Growing Places Fund: Major milestone for North Dorset Business Park

Plans to stimulate a vital employment site in north Dorset has reached a key milestone following the successful repayment of a Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growing Places Fund loan.

North Dorset Business Park in Sturminster Newton is recognised as one of the most important employment sites and development opportunities in the north of the county. A joint working partnership between Dorset County Council, North Dorset District Council and Homes England is helping to rejuvenate the site and attract economic investment.

Dorset County Council managed to secure an £800,000 loan from Dorset LEP’s Growing Places Fund, which is designed to unlock capital projects which have a significant economic impact and the potential for job and home creation, and can quickly deliver tangible economic outcomes.

The loan, which has now successfully been repaid, has been used to fund site servicing work, including a new estate service road, to create serviced plots for sale to potential owner occupiers and developers.  The first new unit completed on the site has been purchased by Scotts Trading, which supplies industry leading products to the Automotive sector throughout the UK & Europe.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP said: “As one of the county’s economic assets, North Dorset Business Park has an important role to play in local regeneration and job creation. The successful repayment of the loan by Dorset County Council now means that we now have funds available to support other worthy projects through the Growing Places Fund scheme, whilst subsequently continuing to support the North Dorset Business Park to reach its full economic potential.”

Ian Knight, Head of Accelerated Construction at Homes England (formerly Homes and Communities Agency) said, “We congratulate Dorset LEP and all the partners and local stakeholders in this project. “Growing Places” is what drives Homes England and we look forward to the new jobs and businesses which North Dorset Business Park will bring to the area”.

Cllr Deborah Croney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, Dorset County Council said: “The repayment of the final instalment of the Growing Places Fund loan for North Dorset Business Park is a significant milestone.  As partners we have demonstrated our commitment to economic growth by investing in our towns at a time of great uncertainty across the national and global economy.  Without our investment this land would still be vacant and underused, as it was for many years.  Now it will provide jobs and income for the people of Sturminster Newton and Dorset.”

Karl Scott, Partner, Scotts Trading said: “We are delighted with our newly built facility at North Dorset Business Park, which combines the Head Office & Warehousing/Logistics operations of our business.  The location is an excellent platform to service our existing Dealership, Group and Original Equipment Manufacturer clients across the UK, and support plans to accommodate future growth on this 1 x acre site.”

North Dorset Business Park covers 7.28 Hectares. The net developable area which the Growing Places Fund has unlocked is c. 5.1 Hectares. The scheme will also provide c. 7,400 m² of new employment floor space and it is estimated that the site will create around 250 jobs for the area in the next 5 years.

The Dorset LEP Growing Places Fund is a repayable loan that encourages local economic growth in Dorset. The Fund may also be used where businesses are unable to access alternative funding mechanisms for viable schemes that will deliver economic growth and support Dorset LEP’s strategic objectives. For further information click here.

Image: Representatives and elected members involved in the development of North Dorset Business Park

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