Investment Story - 15/03/2012
CARLISLE’S new western bypass has already sparked an investment boom – just a fortnight after opening.
Three companies are currently finalising deals to move on to the city’s Kingmoor Park industrial estate – decisions which site bosses say have been triggered by the opening of the Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) last month.
The identities of three firms have not yet been revealed, but one is a company from the Midlands which will open its first Cumbrian base.
Kingmoor bosses hope to tie up the contracts in the next few weeks.
The deals will herald the start of a boom on the site.
Three food retailers and a convenience store/petrol station operator are being lined up to take units on the centrepiece hub development.
Pub giant Marstons has already revealed plans to open a restaurant and the search for a operator to build a four-star hotel on the park is also ongoing.
Plans for a new 12,000-seat stadium for Carlisle United, plus a multi-million pound ‘enabling development’, are also progressing.
“There is no doubt that the opening of the CNDR has been key to this increased interest,” said Kingmoor Park chief executive Tony Goddard. “These companies are now firming up their interest in moving on to the site because they can see the opportunities the new road offers.
“One of the three we are currently finalising is a significant inward investment into Carlisle, which is exactly the kind of investment we need to stimulate the growth required for the city’s future success.
“Already the CNDR is beginning to contribute to Carlisle’s economy in the positive way we knew it would.
“For 70-plus years, being a former Ministry of Defence site, Kingmoor Park has been closed to the public.
“The CNDR has for the first time opened the site up. People can now drive through the centre of the site and see the opportunities we have here.
“The next phase of development is to create the hub, which will begin to take shape soon.
“We want to develop Kingmoor Park as a neighbourhood centre, not just to offer amenities to people who work on the site, but also give people a reason to come here.
“Eventually, we want people travelling past Carlisle on the M6 to pull on to the site as an alternative to a motorway service station.”
For the first time, a section of Kingmoor Park has been set aside for businesses to take units on a freehold basis.
That means they won’t have to pay for added extras like security and roads maintenance.
“That’s something people have been asking for,” said Mr Goddard.
“Security arrangements are still in place for those in the secure areas, which include patrols, CCTV and access via controlled gates.
“Some tenants were concerned about the security situation with the new road coming through but we have moved barriers around to secure individual parts of the site in the north, central and south sections.”
Transport minister Mike Penning will hear about the impact of the bypass when he visits the city next week. Mr Penning will also visit the Port of Workington to hear about ongoing operations to create a major logistics hub there.
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