Jobs boost as enterprise park wins £7m funding

By Mark Elson   |   Senior Reporter   |
Wednesday 4th April 2018 8:03 am
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MORE than £7m has been set aside for work to start on an environmentally-friendly enterprise park which could accommodate more than 1,000 workers.

In a massive jobs boost for the area, Herefordshire Council approved the spending over the next two years to develop Model Farm Enterprise Park at Hildesley on the south-eastern edge of Ross-on-Wye.

Planning was initially approved in 2014 for a 15 hectare farmland site off the A40, with new plans set to be considered for six development zones, including business, general, and storage and distribution use.

Cllr David Harlow, cabinet member for economy and communications, said work could start this year if planning is approved.

“Part of the reason for us wanting to make the investment in Model Farm is the success of the Enterprise Zone and the jobs that have been created,” he added.

“The number of economically active people in Herefordshire is at a record level. This endorses the need for Model Farm and the success of Enterprise Zone.”

A separate plan for 290 homes north of Model Farm is also being considered by planners, while a scheme for 200 homes opposite the proposed enterprise zone on the other side of the A40 has already been approved.

“There are two aspects to the development, housing and employment,” added Cllr Harlow. “We are aiming to bring those forward as rapidly as we can and to start work on site within the next 12 months. So it’s all excellent news economically.”

Cllr Bob Matthews said the nearby motorway network would attract businesses.

“This business investment is urgently required. I feel that the fact it is being built alongside a solid infrastructure will mean the businesses will fly in as fast as we can build.

“I have got a lot of hopes for this business park and it should be built into production as soon as possible.”

A design statement says: “It is proposed to demolish three of the existing farm buildings and develop the land for employment purposes, including business, genereal industrial and storage or distribution

“This will consist of a combination of light industrial and commercial units.

“The Model Farm site will be developed as an innovative, environmentally friendly and sustainable employment area to act as a catalyst helping to maintain a vibrant local economy.

“The development concept includes a Rural Enterprise Hub to act as an incubator for new businesses and provide a centre for the delivery of business support services to local businesses.”

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