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Worcester Technology Park to get cash boost in bid to boost business
A £10 MILLION cash kitty is being put together to finally help Worcester Technology Park get off the ground – in the hope that it will create 5,500 jobs.
Worcestershire County Council is moving ahead with the ambitious project, and has now published a timetable aiming to get employers on to the site in as little as 18 months time.
A report by the council says that it is homing in on potential tenants for the park, which will be just off junction 6 of the M5, saying “detailed negotiations” are progressing with a range of companies.
Now it wants to speed up the process by allocating £10 million for highways access and landscaping of the park.
The cash would also fund work to divert a brook which runs through the site and preparations in getting the land ready for the first spade to go into the ground.
The park is predicted to generate £240 million per year for Worcestershire’s economy.
It was backed by the council’s Conservative cabinet during a meeting at County Hall, where politicians described the project as “vital”.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “We all know how important this site is, it’s crucial for Worcestershire’s economy. It’s probably the biggest ‘game changer’ in the whole county in terms of the raw numbers.”
Councillor Tony Miller, who represents the area, said: “This is very welcome news indeed, I look forward to seeing it progress.”
A timetable now aims for construction to start in or around September next year, with the first employers based there by the summer of 2015.
It will contain 200,000 square metres of floor space, which can be split into units of all different sizes, with 1,600 parking spaces on-site.
The park, which will cost £18 million to build, suffered a major blow last year when Worcester Bosch pulled out, citing a lack of confidence in the economy.
The section of land originally due to be occupied by the company, which can take 1,000 employees, could now be split up.
The county council hopes to get funding from elsewhere to help make up some of the £10 million required investment.
It includes a combined £1 million contributed by Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council, and up to £3.75 million from the Department for Transport. The Government will make a decision in January, and both councils in February.
Talks are also continuing over securing a “developer partner” to work with the county council on the park.