Ambitious plans are poised to go ahead to more than double the size of a thriving business centre on the outskirts of Market Harborough.
Leicestershire County Council is drawing up a £9.5 million blueprint to build 27 new commercial units at Airfield Business Park on the northern edge of the town.
The local authority is preparing to act after letting out all 12 units at the 15.5-acre site between Market Harborough and the McDonald’s roundabout on the A6 already.
“Airfield Business Park in Market Harborough has been such a success that the authority now hopes to extend it, with a planning application for another 27 units likely to be submitted soon,” said the county council.
The council invested in Airfield Business Park as part of its Corporate Asset Investment Fund.
The fund seeks to boost the local economy and generate income for frontline services.
Cllr Lee Breckon, cabinet member for resources, said: “We are delighted with the success of the Airfield Business Park - which has been so well received by local firms.
“It is clear that demand is there for further similar units.
“We are confident that extending the site would bring benefits to both local businesses and the wider community.
“The income stream this sort of venture provides helps to increase our financial resilience at a time when additional central government funding is not forthcoming despite increasing demand for frontline services and local infrastructure.”
Among businesses which have moved into Airfield Business Park is Bramble Foods.
The company already has two other premises in the Market Harborough area.
Bramble Foods supplies small independent shops with cakes, biscuits and confectionery, as well as its own jams and chutneys.
And business has boomed throughout the extremely-challenging Covid-19 pandemic.
Bramble Foods managing director Tony Foster said: “After moving into our first property in 2008, we are delighted to be taking on our third site in Market Harborough.
“Keeping it local is very important to us.
“As a Harborough family business we are proud to employ over 120 people from the local area.
“In addition to our bakery on Lathkill Street and our Riverside End site, where we make jams and pickles, the new building at the Airfield will give us much-needed space for extra warehousing and packing.”
Troubadour Publishing, which employs 25 people, is also moving to the latest phase of Airfield Business Park, to a bespoke unit.
The company, which offers both self publishing and mainstream publishing, was formed in 1996 in Market Harborough.
And as the business has grown it has moved base several times.
Managing director Jeremy Thompson said: “Airfield Business Park is very nice and it is great to be moving in to a building which has been custom-made for us.
“We are a local company, employing local people.”
The first firm to move into one of the new units at Airfield Business Park, back in 2019, was Fasten-it.
They make fixings and fastenings for the door and window industries.
Managing director Phil Hill said: “Fasten-It has grown significantly over the last 20 months since relocating to this fresh new estate.
“It has been a great move for us and has allowed us to refocus the business in difficult global times and move the business forward.
“Airfield Business Park has proved popular for road haulage, both into and from our unit with ease and now the other units are occupied there is a useful interaction of knowledge and experience to share.”
He added: “It’s also pleasing to know we are contributing to a greener economy by using the solar electricity generated on site.
“We are really pleased we made the move and we are looking forward to the continued development of the estate.”