Work has begun on the development of seven brand new commercial/industrial units in an ambitious £1m investment project.
E-Factor Group, the not-for-profit, business support organisation, has been granted permission by North East Lincolnshire Council to expand the successful Enterprise Village site in Prince Albert Gardens, Grimsby. The works will see the regeneration of a currently derelict site of the neighbouring former Fishwife Smokehouse, destroyed by fire three years ago, and the creation of much needed high-quality commercial properties in a local area that has been boosted by magnificent and growing commercial regeneration in recent years.
Tony Parkinson, Estates and Performance Manager, has been leading the project, which has been in development for 18 months. He said: “When the Enterprise Village was built in 2010, it took a while for it to become established but for over six years now, the site is recognised as being perfectly placed and well connected, and has had a 98% occupancy rate over those recent years. These units are in high demand and we usually have a waiting list due to the real shortage of high quality, modern units in our region.
“The Enterprise Village is providing a solid base for local businesses to grow and create new jobs. It’s helping to create a more vibrant economy for the region. Some of the Enterprise Village businesses stay here, some move to bigger units on the site or on to other areas. We have seen some hold back their growth plans due to the serious shortfall of quality units in the area. All local businesses can benefit not only from the quality of the site and its edge of town centre location, but from our unique onsite one-to-one business support, dedicated to help the growth of the businesses, the creation of new jobs and to contribute to much needed economic regeneration of the region.”
An Historic Record has been prepared to ensure that the history of the smokehouse is maintained and clearance of the site has now begun. Tony added: “We’ve taken great care in our plans and explored all the possible options for using and developing the smokehouse buildings, but unfortunately it has been completely destroyed by the fire, vandalised, and stripped of its copper and cabling. It’s derelict and development costs meant that this was just not a viable option.”
“Through the expansion, businesses will have much-needed space for growth in a prime location between the Docks, Grimsby Town centre and yet have immediate access to good road systems for out of region business development.”
Each of the seven units will boast workshop/warehousing and office space for companies in the industrial, storage and distribution, assembly and leisure, and professional services industries. In addition to 40 new car parking spaces, a new, much safer, entrance will also be built to provide access through the existing Enterprise Village site.
The extension has been developed with design work undertaken by Simon Coyne of CDC Architecture and development and valuation advice from Lawrence Brown of Scott’s Property.
Since 2010, the Enterprise Village has been home to many successful local businesses ranging from Jewellery manufacturing to Fashion designers, from Auto repair to IT and Web design. A community of local businesses has developed, and it really is a Village, with a renowned onsite café and E-Factor staff always on hand to help.
The rental income from E-Factor properties, which also includes lettable space at The Business Hive and commercial and retail premises across North East Lincolnshire, helps to fund E-Factor’s free business advisor-led support services. Tony added: “The rental income from this expansion will add to the sustainability of E-Factor Group enabling long term free expert advice to continue to be provided to SME businesses across all sectors in North Lincolnshire.
“Since starting E-Factor almost 12 years ago, we have supported over 2,600 SMEs and helped to create more than 2,500 jobs, and this great benefit will only continue to grow as we go forward and we look forward to this exciting addition to our services”
Mark Webb, Managing Director of E-Factor, said: “I am delighted that this much needed expansion is finally approved. This is a big investment for our company, but one we believe demonstrates our commitment to the area and to the local business community. Whilst we are certainly more than a landlord, and all our profits are ploughed back into supporting local business and entrepreneurs, we just happen to also be great landlords who really do believe in looking after our tenants.
Pauline Harness, Chair of E-Factor said: “The board are delighted to support this important investment. These are challenging and uncertain times, but we are fully committed to helping the local business community find success, and this long-term investment underpins that commitment.”