A £60,000 investment is to be made towards developing up to eight new business units in Crowland to bring new firms into the town.
Work on designing the units on just under an acre of land in Crease Drove has been given the go-ahead by South Holland District Council so that planning permission can be sought as soon as possible.
Interest in the units from several firms was revealed at a meeting this month when it was agreed that £60,000, or 16 per cent, of a £365,000 fund for the Crease Drove industrial estate could be used on the project.
A report prepared for the meeting by the council’s senior economic development officer Nigel Birch said: “In 2009, South Holland District Council successfully applied for funding to purchase three acres of allocated employment land at Crease Drove, Crowland.
“Further funding was successfully applied for to allow the development of one acre and six units were built, allowing two businesses to move in and the other four units to be taken up.
“Two half-acre plots of land and two of the completed units were then sold, with the capital receipts being ring-fenced for further economic development at Crease Drove.
“The council still owns just under one acre of land and it is proposed to progress a project up to the stage of obtaining planning permission for up to eight units, to include completing the detailed design and finalising the project budget.”
During the meeting, councillors questioned the amount of investment needed and the demand for the planned units.
Crowland district councillor Brian Alcock said: “I’d be delighted if we were able to develop the remaining part of it (Crease Drove industrial estate).
“But my concern is that £60,000 is a bit much to spend in getting to the planning stage and what likelihood is there that businesses will come forward for the units?”
The report said: “The council’s existing business units at Horseshoe Yard, Crowland, are fully let and two businesses are utilising two units each due to there being no larger units in the town for them to expand into.
“The construction of new units (in Crease Drove) would facilitate the expansion of these two businesses and, at the same time, free up the existing business units they currently occupy for new start-up businesses.