The new park will ease the pressure on Felixstowe Port. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN
Mid Suffolk Council has bought 100 acres of development land next to the A14 just outside Stowmarket to develop as a new business centre linked to Felixstowe port.
It hopes to develop Gateway 14 as a major new business and logistics park opposite the Cedars Park area of the town – and expects the development to be completed over the next 10 years.
The council has set up Gateway 14 Ltd as a wholly owned subsidiary. It says the site is ideally situated to provide vital links to the Port of Felixstowe, to the Midlands and the UK motorway network beyond.
Outline planning permission has already been granted for employment development at the site and there is the potential to build more than a million square feet of logistics, warehousing, advanced manufacturing and business space.
The council says this will also create a range of opportunities for local businesses to be involved in the construction, servicing and running of the Business Park, and will generate employment opportunities for Stowmarket and the surrounding area.
The site benefits from both an Enterprise Zone and a Food Enterprise Zone designation offering further benefits to businesses locating to this site.
Mid Suffolk Council leader Nick Gowrley said: “The development of Gateway 14 is an exciting venture that will help Mid Suffolk’s economy to thrive whilst promoting opportunities to support new and existing local businesses.”
Chris Haworth, chairman of the board of Gateway 14 Ltd, said: “The Eastern A14 is gathering serious attention from major occupiers and investors because of the lack of supply in other established markets and the great value offered by sites in this region. This is an exciting time to be acquiring a site of this size and quality.”
Gateway 14 Ltd has been set up especially to develop the site – and is solely owned by Mid Suffolk. Unlike property investment company Cifco it is not a joint venture with Babergh.
A spokesman for the council said its main aim was the economic development of the site – not necessarily producing a regular revenue stream in the short term, although it was hoped that would happen later as the new business park became established and possibly expanded.