A bold county council scheme to plough almost £10 million into a new business estate in Market Harborough is set to go ahead.
The ambitious £9.5 million blueprint to build more commercial units at Airfield Business Park is to be discussed by Leicestershire County Council next week.
The authority is drawing up plans to boost its property portfolio by expanding the business hub off the A508 Harborough Road, north of Market Harborough.
The county council bought 15.5 acres of undeveloped land at Airfield Business Park in 2016.
And in July 2018 the council won planning permission to build 80,000 sq ft of units on part of the site.
Completed in December 2019, the authority says it has been a “big success”.
Some 10 of the 12 new units are now occupied - despite the shattering Covid-19 pandemic.
Five of the tenants moved in to expand their existing Leicestershire-based operations and the other five businesses are from outside the county.
The county council is now to decide whether to press ahead and seek planning permission for another 27 commercial units - ranging in size 1,539 sq ft to 10,010 sq ft - on the remaining 7.6 acres of the site.
“If the proposal is approved by cabinet, a planning application is expected to be submitted in April 2021,” said the county council.
“If the scheme gets the go-ahead, construction would begin early in 2022 with the aim of completion by November 2022.”
Cllr Byron Rhodes, the council’s cabinet member for finance and property, said: “Our portfolio of properties continue to perform well.
“We hope to continue investing in projects which not only boost the local economy, but also provide us with much-needed revenue to support our essential services in these difficult times.”
He added: “Our developments so far at the Airfield site have been very successful, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.
“It is clear that demand is there for further similar units and we are confident that extending the site would bring benefits to both local businesses and the wider community.”
The initiative will be discussed by the council’s Scrutiny Commission on Monday March 15 and Cabinet on Tuesday March 23.
You can watch the meetings online here: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast