D2N2 has approved £1million investment from its Local Growth Fund to support the Ashbourne Airfield project.
The funding will support new transport infrastructure to unlock much-needed land for employment. Once completed the scheme will provide employment space within Ashbourne for new and expanding businesses, creating opportunities for local businesses and jobs for local people.
D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It has been allocated more than £250m from the Local Growth Fund from the Government to part-fund infrastructure projects which directly help its area’s economy and create jobs.
The Ashbourne Airfield scheme, costing £10.28 million in total, will see the construction of a new 50m-wide three-arm roundabout on the A52 and 720m long link road to the nearby Airfield Industrial Estate, named after the former second world-war era RAF airbase.
Ashbourne Airfield Industrial Estate is the largest employment location in the Derbyshire Dales and is the focus of the district’s manufacturing economy, housing over 70 businesses and employing over 2000 people.
Once complete, the new roundabout and link road will address existing highway capacity problems as well as speeding up the construction of the proposed Ashbourne Business Park and adjacent housing development.
The Ashbourne Business Park will consist of 9 hectares of serviced and development-ready employment land with the private sector committed to delivering at least 60,000 ft² of new employment floorspace by 2023.
The road improvements will also open up the possibility a new housing development on the site, providing as many as 367 new homes as well as community and leisure facilities.
The project will now begin with site preparation and initial set up taking place later this month.
Completion of the roundabout and link road should occur by Autumn this year.
Additional funding for the infrastructure improvements includes Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council and developer FW Harrison Commercial Ltd.
D2N2 Chair Elizabeth Fagan CBE said of the news to attribute funding: “Ashbourne is the heart of Derbyshire Dales manufacturing economy and this critical investment in infrastructure will facilitate new jobs and opportunities for local people and businesses which will contribute towards the growth of the regional economy.’
Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: ?“We are committed to boosting economic growth across the Midlands Engine and levelling up every place in the country.
“Thanks to £1million of Government support from the Local Growth Fund, the Ashbourne Airfield project will be vital in unleashing the full economic potential of the region by unlocking new jobs in the Derbyshire Dales and hundreds of new homes for the community .”
Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer said: “Helping businesses to start up, thrive and survive in Derbyshire is one of our key priorities.
“This project will unlock land to bring forward the expansion of Ashbourne Airfield Business Park, providing new opportunities for existing tenants looking to develop and grow, as well as attracting new businesses, bringing more jobs to the area.”
Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Garry Purdy said: “This £1-million cash boost from the LGF kickstarts a project of massive importance for the future prosperity of the Dales.
“The delivery of the much-needed employment site and infrastructure also opens up the neighbouring strategic housing allocation that is a priority for us as the local planning authority. Moreover, we identified the new business park as the main future employment location in the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan, adopted in 2017, the site accounting for a third of all new employment development land in the district.
“Ashbourne Airfield is superbly located within easy reach of nationally important cities and employment locations, but the fact that it does not currently have good access to the A52 is a big negative. The new roundabout and link road will address existing highway capacity problems and effectively unlocks the site’s enormous potential.”
A spokesperson for FW Harrison said: “The Harrison family have been working towards getting the site developed for over 10 years and are pleased that construction of the road infrastructure will start shortly. The site will provide much needed industrial floor space and jobs for existing occupiers of the Ashbourne Airfield to expand and also give the chance for growth for new companies in Ashbourne. The roundabout and link road will be a much needed alternative access to the existing industrial estate and reduce traffic congestion.
“We are a family company based in Ashbourne, so have very local principles. Fredrick Harrison started the company and purchased the site in the early sixties and the family want to create a legacy for the town.
“We look forward to continuing the working relationship with the district and county councils to accelerate the ambitions of the partnership to deliver jobs and the local plan for local people.”