A £7.5 MILLION industry zone has just opened up for business, transforming what was a derelict eyesore site next to one of the key routes into town.

Northern Trust officially launched the first phase of its development at Gerards Park, a 30,878 sq ft scheme off College Street.

Mike Grindrod, a director of the company said: “Despite the difficult economic climate, Northern Trust took the decision to invest in the region. The scheme has already proved popular and with a number of pre-lets already confirmed we are confident Gerards Park will prove a huge success.

“The development offers an excellent product in a first class location, suitable for new and existing businesses looking to start up, expand or relocate to the area.”

With the assistance of European Regional Development Fund money, Northern Trust plans to roll out the site in three phases.

The first phase is made up of 21 units split into three blocks with sizes ranging from 537 sq ft up to 3,789 sq ft. Units over 1,000 sq ft also include a fully fitted office.

Concrete service yards provide adequate circulation and loading facilities and there is ample car parking and quality landscaping around the scheme.

Council Leader Marie Rimmer said: “This is a key site en route into the town centre. The development brings this derelict site back into use and is a very welcome addition.

“The site remediation will also bring forward a further 3 acres for the future phased development, and initial plans include the provision of a 30,000 sq ft modern office building which could be available on a pre-let basis. “ Sir Howard Bernstein of the North West European Regional Development Fund added: “This is an important project for the local economy which our programme is pleased to have supported.

“Gerards Park will provide a major boost to the area, creating local jobs and supporting local businesses and the completion of this initial phase of the work is a key step along the way.”

The new development will be managed and marketed by Northern Trust’s in house management company Whittle Jones North West, and anyone interested in further details about the scheme can contact the team on 01257 238666.