Businesses look around the new Oakham Enterprise Park

The new enterprise park at the former site of Ashwell Prison
The new enterprise park at the former site of Ashwell Prison

Business people took the opportunity to look around Rutland’s new enterprise park, which is being opened at the former Ashwell Prison site.

More than 40 people attended the Oakham Enterprise Park open day which included guided tours of the 25-acre site and some of the business units available to rent.

Rutland County Council bought the site for £1.34m from the Ministry of Justice, which closed the prison in 2011.

Rutland County Council deputy leader Coun Terry King (Con) said: “We had a great response to the open day at Oakham Enterprise Park and an extremely positive response from those who visited the site.

“I’m sure there are lots of people now thinking about their future plans, both for existing businesses and new start-ups.”

Entrepreneurs are now being reminded that they can apply to a regional fund that can help raise finance for new or existing business ventures.

The funds are available through the First Enterprise Business Agency, a regional organisation providing loans to businesses across the East Midlands who might not be able to secure bank funding.

The agency held an exhibition at the open day for visitors looking around the site.

More than £2m is available from the agency and businesses and individuals can bid for money to help them get their business idea off the ground.

During the last four years, the organisation has approved 358 business loans totalling £4.5m.

Loan fund manager Neil Millington said: “Anyone in the East Midlands with a great business idea that we can potentially help should come forward and speak to us.”

For more information, visit www.first-enterprise.co.uk or call 0115 942 3772.

Work to remove razor wire from the edge of the site in Ashwell has already started and clearance and maintenance work is also under way.

More than 35 businesses have already been in touch with the council to arrange private viewings of available units.

For more information, visit www.rutland.gov.uk