Elgin Business Park Limited (EBPL), controlled by the owners of Springfield Properties Plc, has secured a £1.9 million investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The HIE funding will go towards the £6.8 million cost of creating the infrastructure to enable the first phase of the development to begin at Barmuckity Farm, on the east side of Elgin.
Phase one will involve developing a 66-acre section of the full 125 acre site. Development of the full site will support an estimated 32 full time equivalent jobs in the construction industry.
It is anticipated that Elgin Business Park will have a variety of uses including industrial, office, warehousing, hospitality and retail premises. It is expected to take around seven years to complete and will ultimately create hundreds of jobs.
Elgin is the administrative and commercial centre for Moray. It is an important hub for the coastal towns of Lossiemouth, Hopeman, Burghead and Buckie as well as inland settlements including Keith, Rothes, Aberlour and surrounding rural areas.
The desire for a business park in the town has been a constant for the past 15 years. It has featured in both the Moray 2020 strategy (2005) and the more recent Moray Economic Strategy (2012).
David Oxley, HIE’s acting director of business and sector development, said:
“This is great news for Moray and the realisation of a long-standing aspiration.
“This development will allow indigenous businesses to grow and inward investors to locate in Moray. It will create jobs and retain skills and help Moray become more diverse, competitive and resilient.
“We are very pleased to see this private sector led development reach this stage and delighted to be able to confirm our support.”
Springfield Chairman Sandy Adam who is involved in the project said:
“We are very pleased to be working alongside Highlands and Islands Enterprise in this project whose investment will allow us to deliver Moray Council’s economic vision for the area.
“We are already in advanced discussions with a number of existing Moray businesses who are keen to grow their business but have been restricted due to the lack of land available.
This will allow them to plan for the future and this can only be seen as a benefit for the region in terms of economic and employment growth. We anticipate being on site within the next few months with the first occupiers being on site in 2018.”
Councillor John Cowe, Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure committee, and of the Moray Economic Partnership, said:
“This is the trigger we have been hoping for to get this project going, and I’m delighted that HIE have made it happen.
“As members of the Moray Economic Partnership we are all pushing in a number of directions to improve the local economy, but Barmuckity is a big part of our agenda in this regard.
“With the adjacent £86 million Elgin Flood Alleviation scheme now complete and thoroughly tested, businesses can have renewed confidence in locating their operations within this new development.”
Elgin Business Park will complement the Enterprise Park Forres, 14 miles to the west, which is targeted at knowledge based companies in the life sciences, business services and engineering sectors.