Northamptonshire business leaders urge London developers to invest in our county

The Stanton Cross development, in Wellingborough, is among seven sites being pitched to developers
The Stanton Cross development, in Wellingborough, is among seven sites being pitched to developers

Northamptonshire business leaders have pitched the county as a place to invest in new developments to an audience in London.

Last night, Thursday, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) held an invitation only event in London at which an audience of more than 160 London based property investors and influencers were told how NEP plans to use over €55m of European funding and more than £50m growth deal money by 2020 – to help enable the Northamptonshire economy to grow further, faster.

NEP, Northamptonshire’s local enterprise partnership, presented its brand new Northamptonshire Investment Prospectus detailing seven of the investment sites ripe for development in Northamptonshire and called on investors to take advantage of the county’s attested growth potential.

The sites include Silverstone Park, a flagship site to broaden the scope of the existing Formula One facilities and the Waterside Enterprise Zone in Northampton which will offer benefits such as business tax rebates.

Earlier his week, it was announced that The University of Northampton would be building a new Waterside Campus in the Zone following approval of a government loan.

NEP revealed it will implement a new £100m programme of investment from 2014 to 2020 and that it will continue to offer unrivalled business support to Northamptonshire companies by way of start-up and development grants, skills training for growth and job creation, investment in infrastructure and a raft of other support services.

NEP also launched the Northamptonshire Growth Hub, a collaborative initiative between NEP, The University of Northampton and Northamptonshire County Council.

The Growth Hub is the first of its kind in the UK, providing a single point of contact for a wide portfolio of business support including dedicated training, advice and information, all in one place, for businesses large and small.

Tim Bagshaw, head of investment at NEP, said: “Northamptonshire is at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery and recent investment by companies such as Decathlon, Sainsbury’s and MEPC has further accelerated the county’s business and investment growth.

“To ensure this growth is sustained we have ambitious plans for the period 2014-2020 and the Growth Hub will play a key role.”

Further sites for development showcased at the London event included Prologis RFI DIRFT, already a significant logistics hub with major growth potential, Kettering East with 50 hectares of employment land for office and industrial premises and Rockingham Park in Corby with its focus on manufacturing and engineering companies.

There is also Stanton Cross Urban Extension in Wellingborough, a mix of industrial, office, distribution and retail space and Warth Park in East Northamptonshire – a 32 hectare site focused on logistics and distribution.

Northamptonshire is one of the most accessible areas in the country making it a particularly enticing location for a number of sectors. The county’s High Performance Technologies (HPT) network is a unique concentration of industries that specialise in the design and manufacture of innovative technologies, engines and products.

Drawing on the county’s historic legacy and expertise in motorsport, there are now over 800 HPT businesses in Northamptonshire.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, based in Brackley, said at the event: “Northamptonshire is at the forefront of motorsport and high-performance technology, both in the UK and internationally. The range and depth of skills in the county and thriving business community forms a comprehensive supply chain that contributes significantly to both the UK economy and the continued success of sectors like F1, motorsport and engineering.”

Central to the UK and with 75 per cent of the UK’s population within a two-hour drive, Northamptonshire is at the heart of the nation’s transport and business infrastructure providing key links to the UK and mainland Europe.

The UK’s leading logistics and transport hub, Northamptonshire is home to major logistics businesses including Advanced Supply Chain, Wincanton and Eddie Stobart.

Yusen Logistics business unit director Mark LeMontais said: “Northamptonshire is the ideal base for a prosperous and ambitious logistics sector with an enviable regional infrastructure and the facilities and investment needed for growth.

“New developments like those planned at Daventry Interaction Rail Freight Terminal mean that the county can continue to support the sector’s vital contribution to the UK economy.”

The county’s food and drink sector is another foremost employer with internationally recognised names including Weetabix, Carlsberg UK and Whitworths based in Northamptonshire.

A large number of innovative small businesses in the sector are also flourishing in the county.

Incredible Bakery Company, the first recipients of Locate, a relocation fund offered through NEP, have just moved from London to Northamptonshire after seeing posters on the tube advertising the scheme.

Incredible Bakery Company owner Valeria Mizuno-Turner said at the event: “We are a growing business but found rents in London simply unaffordable.

“After speaking to NEP we realised that Northamptonshire’s offer of bespoke support, relocation grant and on-going business development strategy made it the ideal place for an ambitious company like ours to expand and move forward.”