RUTLAND County Council hopes to create a new business park on the site of Ashwell Prison, bringing to an end months of uncertainty around its future.
Councillors voted to approve purchasing the land at a special meeting on Monday and final negotiations will now take place with the Ministry of Justice to try and agree a deal.
In the meantime, local businesses are invited to an open day being held on Friday, May 25 at the council offices in Oakham.
The event gives businesses the opportunity to find out more about plans for the site, as well as looking at information about the various units that would be available to rent on the Ashwell Business Park.
Coun Terry King (Con) said: “Ashwell Business Park will provide a major boost to the local economy as well as securing the long-term future of a key site in Rutland. We anticipate a total of around 20 units being made available, mainly aimed at small to medium sized businesses looking to relocate and expand, or perhaps new business start ups. The units would be available to rent at affordable rates on a range of short to medium term lets.”
Coun King added: “We are really keen to get as many businesses as possible to the open day next week as it gives them a chance to find out about the opportunities that Ashwell Business Park will create. If you are a business owner and are perhaps thinking about moving premises in the next few years, then you can’t afford to miss this event.
“I’m sure the new Ashwell Business Park will not only be of interest to local businesses, but also to companies from neighbouring areas and indeed across the East Midlands. Rutland is a great business location with good infrastructure and superb transport links to the rest of the country.”
The open day will run from 10am to 4pm in the council offices at Catmose in Oakham and those who attend will be able to view information on the units available.
The potential 20 units include six offices and 14 industrial units.
The council is also considering whether there is a demand for affordable and creative units for entrepreneurs seeking to develop their creative talents into a business, as there is an opportunity to form a creative village within the business park.
Those planning to attend the open day are asked to register their interest by contacting the Rutland County Council economic development team on 01572 720931 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The council says it will also be using the open day as an opportunity to distribute information about training, recruitment, and support programmes.
The Digital Rutland team, responsible for improving broadband speeds across the county during the next 18 months, will also be able to update you on their plans.