80 new jobs set to be created at former bacon factory in £30million revamp
- Credit: AshtonSmith
The Harris Business Park in Ipswich has been sold and will be developed by its new owners, investing £30m in the town and creating 80 jobs.
Penn Commercial, acting on behalf of Peter Colby Commercials, has sold the 19-acre business park to a Hadleigh-based company which aims to expand its presence in Suffolk.
The Hadleigh Road site is well-known as the former home of the Harris Bacon factory which was a major employer in the town.
The new owner, the Headlam Group, is Europe’s largest distributor of floor coverings, providing the link between suppliers and customers across the UK and continental Europe.
It already has a facility in Hadleigh.
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The company has invested £4m in buying the site and plans to invest a further £26m in its new regional centre in Ipswich.
The Headlam Group will be constructing a new distribution facility of around 200,000 sqft and plan to create around 80 jobs.
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Steve Wilson, chief executive of Headlam, said: “We have long planned to upgrade our distribution centre in this part of the country and am pleased that, subject to resolving a few outstanding matters, it is finally coming to fruition.
“We look forward to having a positive impact in the area, including through time, adding additional employment.”
David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council welcomed the news hailing it as good news for Ipswich.
“It has been a vacant site for many years,” he said. “It is great to see it being developed and get jobs created on site.”
Planning permission had previously been granted for the site.
Peter Colby Commercials bought the site 10 years ago from the then East of England Development Agency.
Managing director Peter Colby intended that it should be used for industrial, warehousing, commercial and manufacturing use.
Vanessa Penn, of Penn Commercial, said: “This is one of the largest vacant industrial sites in the town and it is exciting news for Ipswich that a large local company is planning to create 80 job opportunities here.”
Mr Colby is a prominent Norfolk-based businessman who has a commitment to East Anglia’s development and providing opportunities for businesses, large and small, to grow and prosper, she added.
Peter Colby Commercials worked with Network Rail and Ipswich Borough Council to develop the ‘Bacon Chord’ at one edge of the site. This was done with the intention of helping take container traffic off the road network and on to the rail network.
Mr Ellesmere added: “It is important that it is developed for employment uses now.”
The Headlam Group said they hoped to start groundwork on site in the second quarter of 2019 and have the new centre operational in mid 2020.