Work stepped up on east Hull's new multi-million pound 'green' business park
WORK has started on the next phase of a multi-million pound "green" business park in east Hull.
Steel framework for a new two-storey development at the Marfleet Environmental Technology Park in Hedon Road has now been erected.
The scheme, which is located at the front of the building, overlooking Hedon Road, has been earmarked for start-up units and established young businesses looking to expand.
About £1m has so far been invested in the new development, which aims to complement existing businesses on the site while creating much-needed construction jobs and investment in east Hull.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And developer Paul Dixon said talks were already under way with another company interested in taking more than 20,000sq ft of space towards the rear of the site.
He said: "We first started looking at this development before the recession hit and I don't think anyone expected it to hit so hard.
"This is the third recession I have been through and it is certainly the longest and deepest I have known.
"However, we have always had confidence in the site. It is a great site in a great location, within Hull's Enterprise Zone.
"If the city gets a firm decision fromSiemens in the new year, it will be ideal for the tier-two suppliers that will be required to follow the turbine manufacturer to this area."
The site has been developed by Warmsale Ltd, a joint venture between ispace and Stoneferry Estates, which was established to acquire the former Humbrol site.
The company has so far invested about £8m to develop the site, as well as securing an additional £4.7m grant from European Regional Development Fund.
Mr Dixon said: "This was one of the last grants awarded via Yorkshire Forward and this development could not have happened without it.
"It took almost two years of hard work to secure but doing, so it was great news for us, the site and the city.
"I believe in working with local companies, not just because it is good for the economy but because the quality of work is so high.
"I cannot understand it when I see out-of-town contractors coming into the area, as we always go out to tender to a number of companies and every time local companies win on price and quality."
Plans for the Marfleet Environmental Technology Park in Hedon Road were first revealed in September 2010.
The development, which is located on the former Humbrol paint factory site, was approved by city council planners in November 2010.
In August last year, following a comprehensive construction programme that created hundreds of jobs and pumped millions of pounds into the local economy, Japanese chemical company Nippon Gohsei and Neill & Brown Global Logistics became the first tenants to move on to the iconic industrial site.
And last week, logistics and transport company Middlegate Europe and solar business Perpetum Sun held a grand reception attended by more than 75 distinguished guests to mark their arrival on the business park.
The two companies form part of the Middlegate Group, which has invested more than £3m in modern premises at Marfleet, creating about 15 new jobs.
This brings the group's employee count in Hull to about 50 – a figure set to grow after owner and CEO Kim Notman announced plans for a further £20m investment over the next two years.
In line with the park's green credentials, Perpetum Sun has installed solar panels on its new warehouses as well as energy-saving measures within the building.
However, both Mr Dixon and Mr Notman pointed out that investment and job creation had not been a walk in the park.
Mr Dixon said: "There is no doubt in my mind that it is construction that will lead us out of recession, so we are delighted to we have been able to invest about £8m here, in addition to the ERDF grant.
"I wrote to Mr Clegg, Cameron and Osborne back in July, saying you have got to get the construction industry kick-started – it took two-and-a-half months to get a reply.
"The whole process needs speeding up.
"Meanwhile, I believe there remains a terrible situation with the banks.
"We have had very good support from Handelsbanken but I know a lot of businesses in Hull that need to refinance and banks won't finance them while it is virtually impossible for smaller businesses to get funding."
Mr Notman said he was delighted to be able to invest in the city and create local jobs, however he said he was concerned at obstacles preventing companies from further investment.
He said: "The expected growth is not blocked by the economic crisis, but rather by a slow administration where the necessary licenses take ages to retain and local emotions stand in the way of job creation.
"There are 40 people for every job in this area and yet we cannot create more jobs because of this."