The UK's Southglade food park is expanding further thanks to a fresh injection of cash from a local council, despite the current challenging economic environment.
Trade body Food and Drink Forum, which manages the hub for small to medium-sized food and drink manufacturers has announced the support of an additional £1.67m (€2.07m) from Nottingham City Council.
The funding approval is a key step in enabling additional finances of £4.25m (€5.28) to be released from the European Regional Development Fund for phase two of the park's expansion.
The cash will be used to build an additional 2,550 sq ft of food grade industrial units next to the phase one development, which the Forum claims has a waiting list of food and drink manufacturers keen to move in.
New job opportunities
“Expansion of the food park will provide additional high grade manufacturing units for food and drink producers and help to create new job opportunities for the area," said Food and Drink Forum MD Fiona Anderson. "We have had a waiting list of firms keen to move on to Southglade for some time, and I am sure they will welcome the news too.
“As the first food and drink business park of its kind in the UK, Southglade has acted as a blueprint for similar schemes across the country and in other parts of the world, such as Malaysia – helping to put Nottingham on the map for its pioneering food and drink sector. If phase two gets the go-ahead it can only strengthen the city’s position as an attractive place for food and drink manufacturers to launch and develop.”
Significant business cluster
It is hoped that the enlarged development will create a regionally significant business cluster in the food and drink sector, enabling Nottingham to attract new business and foster growth in the sector to benefit the regional economy.
The Forum played a key role in planning and developing the first phase of Southglade Food Park in Nottingham which opened in 2005 and was the first business park of its kind in the UK. It has since managed the on-site business centre and services for the park, which is home to six food manufacturers.
Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council said: “This scheme creates at least 90 local jobs and even more in the construction of the units, helps the manufacturing industry and will bring a financial return for the council of just over £125,000 a year when our ERDF application is approved. It is an excellent deal all around.”