Plymouth City Council
PR 5693 10/05/2013
New industrial estate to bring in jobs
Plymouth could be getting a new industrial estate on the eastern edge of the city as part of pro-active push by the Council to secure jobs and companies.
The Council is considering developing part of the three hectares of land it owns at Langage Business Park into an estate with work space and modern facilities for small and medium-sized companies.
A report to Cabinet on 21 May is recommending the Council gets the ball rolling on the project to turn an empty parcel of land near Plympton into a thriving hub of economic activity that could create and support 80 jobs.
It calls on the Cabinet to add the project to the Council’s capital programme and to begin the task of procuring the main contractor.
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance said: “This is absolutely the right thing to do with land that’s been lying empty. We’ve heard over and over again from small and medium businesses that the lack of suitable premises is hampering their expansion, so we are prepared to step in and make this happen.
Council Leader Tudor Evans added: “A key commitment in our Plan for Jobs is to use Council assets and our ability to access finance to enable job creation. A specific project was our ‘Building for Jobs Investment Fund’. It would be hard to think of an idea that would be better suited to this fund.”
The business park would have high-quality facilities and is also expected to feature sustainable technologies to minimise carbon emissions and running costs.
The development cost is estimated to be £2.5 million and would be funded through the investment fund. Once built, it would also provide a long term income stream for the Council.
A report earlier this year by property experts Jones Lang LaSalle concluded that Plymouth has a shortage of high quality, modern employment space facilities. And with the Council’s business parks and units running at 95 per cent occupancy, more are needed.
Not only would it help create sustainable employment once built, it would also create jobs during the construction phase of the premises, which see almost 3,000 square metres of flexible workspace being built.
Plymouth Manufacturer's Group also said there was a ‘distinct lack of high quality employment space of the right size’ over the past few years and argued that this was constraining SME businesses in the Plymouth travel-to-work area.
Their report estimated 20 per cent of firms felt their premises inhibited their growth, 35 per cent said they were not able to find appropriate premises and 70 per cent felt the supply of sites/buildings is inadequate, inappropriately located and/or priced.
Plymouth Chamber of Commerce also highlighted the lack of modern space available as well as the new supply of property suitable for small and medium sized business.
The Council-owned development land is off Beechwood Way within Langage Business Park, on the northern side of the Langage Industrial Estate. There is a range of business space including the traditional distribution and manufacturing occupiers on the estate together with call centres, car showrooms and offices.
The site is close to the Deep Lane junction off the A38 Devon Expressway, providing swift and easy access to the local, regional and national road network.
While the land is owned by Plymouth City Council, it falls within South Hams District Council’s boundary and the Langage employment site policy area and any proposals would be subject to the South Hams planning processes.