Hillcrest Park in Caistor, which consists of 17 rural enterprise units, is officially complete.
The park, which is now fully occupied, is home to 11 separate businesses encompassing a wide range of sectors including: artisan crafts, digital marketing, renewable energy and theatre productions and provides employment for 40 employees.
Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr Bierley, was thrilled to visit the development in early December. He said: “Having closely followed its progress I was especially pleased to learn how the site has supported such a diverse range of businesses.
“I find it of great interest that the occupants of the site have all relocated from within a small local radius. This reaffirms the importance of ensuring that local business development can occur to support rural economies and community vibrancy and prosperity.”
The development was granted planning permission in 2016 and sought to regenerate what was an empty site in a strategic and prominent location alongside the A46. The development was supported by funding from the Rural Development Programme for England.
Property developer and investor, Oliver Lawrence said: “As someone who has grown up in Caistor, I knew there would be strong demand for the premises. It’s been a challenging process to achieve the vision we set out with a few years ago, but we’ve got there, and it really is fantastic that Hillcrest Park has turned a dilapidated site into one that is now thriving with local enterprise.”
The site provides accommodation across a range of unit sizes and has therefore been able to support local micro businesses and larger enterprises too.
Cllr Steve Critten of Caistor Town Council and Caistor Community Trust was also in attendance at the visit. He said: “It is great to see the site is finally complete and active with tenants. I am very keen to highlight engagement opportunities for businesses as part of the Caistor Neighbourhood Plan review that is now underway. The current plan adopted in 2016 supported development of the Hillcrest site via its policy, which sought to support the development of business and start up units particularly by conversion of existing empty previously developed land.
“Speaking to the developer and business owners it is clear we need to try and ensure that when businesses do expand there is opportunity to do so in Caistor and this needs to be reflected in the review of the Neighbourhood Plan.”
Lawrence Brown, managing partner for Scotts Property LLP (commercial property agent for the site), said: “The demand for small business units has been strong for several years but often there is either a lack of supply or those that do exist are poor quality.
“These premises give entrepreneurs the opportunity to occupy well-built premises, with good transport links, close to where they live. It’s exactly what people want.”
Jeremy Griffiths, director of Century Cars, based at Hillcrest Park, chose to relocate his business to Hillcrest Park in order to remove the commute and has now established his business in one of the later units to be completed.
Jonathan Airey, operations director for Rase Outdoor Living, a nationwide supplier of bespoke aluminium pergolas, which occupies multiple units at the site, said: “The site is the ideal location for us. We saw this as a great opportunity to gain the space we need and remain in local premises.”