Energy-efficient business park to receive £750,000

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A NEW business park in Long Sutton, which will be the most energy efficient in the country, is to receive a £750,000 investment.

The 1.1 acre site in Gedney Road has attracted the cash from Lincolnshire County Council which hopes it will be able to use the know-how gained from the development to improve the energy efficiency of its own buildings.

The CaNeBuZo – carbon neutral business zone – is the brainchild of “green evangelist” Jerry Harrall and could potentially attract six new businesses to the district and create almost 35 new jobs.

And Mr Harrall, who has become well-known for his energy efficient developments, says it will reiterate Long Sutton’s credentials as the “green capital” of the country and put the district firmly on the map.

The investment from Lincolnshire County Council makes up half of the £1.5m cost of developing the site.

As well as sharing in the intellectual rights of the development, as an equity partner it will also share in the profits from such income as rents.

It is hoped the development will also create more local jobs in the short term when the building project is put out to tender in January.

Mr Harrall said he intends for a local contractor to take on the work, which could start as early as March.

He then expects work will be complete by September, when the first businesses could move in.

He said: “We have already had an expression of interest from one start-up business which has the potential to create 14 new jobs.”

The idea of the development is to build offices to the highest energy efficiency standards, complete with solar panels.

Businesses which move in can expect to have no energy bills to pay as a result and the surplus energy created, which they could sell back to the national grid, could be the equivalent of the amount used by five homes in a year.

Mr Harrall said: “This £750,000 from the county council is an investment in the future and in job creation, but it is investing in the right type of jobs in the right type of premises.

“There is no point in investing in gas guzzling boxes any more – it makes no sense at all.

“What we need to do is build for the future to give businesses every chance of success.

“If you take away the need to pay energy bills, they stand a chance of succeeding long-term.”