With the signing of this agreement, it was also announced development work has started on the first plot of land at the 110-acre site — a roadside retail development by Euro Garages.
The first project will see a petrol filling station built, which will include a convenience store, and a stand-alone KFC drive-through restaurant.
The 110-acre site, which extends on Aycliffe Business Park, is set to become the largest business park in the North East.
The park will accommodate a range of business, industrial, warehouse, and trade units, as well as a 60-bed hotel, public house, and roadside restaurant and retail space, all located next to the A1(M).
The aim of the business park is to provide 1.8 million sq ft of industrial space and create over 3,000 jobs over the next 10 years, in order to boost County Durham’s economy by almost half a billion pounds.
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Cllr Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The signing of this development agreement by Richardson Barberry is a significant milestone for Forrest Park, as it declares globally that the park is officially open for business.
“This first sale of land is just the start of what the park has to offer in boosting the county’s economy, particularly in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, by attracting international investors to the county from across the globe and, in turn, creating thousands of high-quality jobs for our local residents.”
Jonathan Robinson, director and shareholder at Barberry Industrial, said: “Barberry and 50/50 joint venture partner Richardson are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North East’s premier business parks, stimulating economic growth and creating new jobs for the region.
“We can provide building options for smaller occupiers on the trade park and bigger building options of circa 20,000 sq ft to one million sq ft footprint on the site.
“Local, regional, national, and international occupiers have already expressed interest in this prominent, motorway-connected, serviced and consented site, which is oven-ready for development and has access to an excellent, skilled labour demographic.”
Pictured (L-R): Neil Findlay (Euro Garages), Councillor Carl Marshall, Jonathan Robinson (Richardson Barberry)