Telford & Wrekin Council has secured the future of a number of Newport businesses by buying Audley Avenue Enterprise Park & is seeking £7.5m Government funding to deliver high tech jobs in the town.
The Audley Avenue site had been earmarked for future residential development by its previous owner St Modwen.
When the site was offered for sale, the Council - working with the Newport Regeneration Partnership - saw the opportunity to acquire the estate to add to its Property Investment Portfolio which ensures the industrial provision will continue.
This will safeguarding local jobs and deliver an income to the council to invest in frontline services..
The Audley Avenue Enterprise Park forms part of the larger Audley Avenue Industrial Estate, an established industrial location on the edge of Newport.
The 13 current tenants occupy a total of 136,769 sq ft in subdivided units in two detached buildings across a site of 7.37 acres.
One of the largest tenants on the estate is Jupiter Marketing Ltd, whose joint managing directors are Mark and Yvonne Tweddle.
They said: “We have a thriving business in Newport at the Audley Avenue Industrial Estate employing more than 160 staff, since establishing our business in 2001.
“We had been concerned for some time about our future given the previous owner’s intentions to sell the site – we were obviously aware of the possibility that it could be redeveloped for housing.
“We have developed a local skills base and we have a strong association with the local area so we are delighted with the news that Telford & Wrekin Council has invested in the estate with the intention of retaining it.
“We look forward to working with them in the future.”
The investment is part of the Council’s commitment to develop employment opportunities in Newport including the submission of a bid for £7.5m Government funding to create a new enterprise and science park at a new site south of the A518 (see attached plan)..
Alongside the expansion of Harper Adams University with its new Agri-Engineering Centre, the investment will deliver opportunities for new and growing high tech businesses and support existing businesses to stay local and grow.
Plans for the site include both start up units and sites for more established businesses all of whom will benefit from the Council’s Enterprise Telford programme of business support including new grant funding.
Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council leader, said: “We have said time and time again that we are absolutely committed to supporting existing businesses to expand as well as attracting inward investment to our borough and that is one of the reasons we created the Telford Growth Fund”.
“This is one more prime example of that commitment. I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to step in and secure the site for the future and give some thriving local businesses the security and assurance that they wanted.
Councillor Gilly Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Education, Employment and Regeneration, said: “Through Enterprise Telford we have made a commitment to attract new investment to the whole Borough – not limit it to one site or zone. The new science and enterprise park will bring new employment including high tech jobs to Newport and support the whole town.”
Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for Finance and Service Delivery, said: “Not only will this safeguard jobs but growing our Property Investment Portfolio is a key way that the council is seeking to increase income to invest in delivering frontline services, addressing cuts in government grant.”