A £7.4m scheme to expand Southglade Food Park in Nottingham – the UK’s first food and drink manufacturing site – is now complete.

The park was the first of its kind in the UK when it opened in 2005 and houses a number of high-specification food-grade manufacturing units in a range of sizes, but due to popular demand has now expanded by 32,033 square feet, which is the equivalent of approximately six tennis courts.

The scheme, which has been part-financed thanks to £3.8m of European funding through the European Regional Development Fund, has added to the quality food-grade production facilities to the specialist park which is located on Gala Way in Bestwood.

Work began to expand the site in July 2014 and a further 12 new units of differing sizes have been made available to be able to cater for a wide range of businesses from those just starting to more established companies looking for room to expand.

The units are designed to support the needs of food and drink manufacturers at all stages of development and will be used for production, testing and packaging, and will help to generate up to 90 full time jobs for local people.

The extended development, delivered in partnership with Nottingham Regeneration Limited (NRL), creates a regionally significant cluster of food and drink businesses, enabling the city to attract more new businesses and foster further growth in the sector to benefit the local economy.

Prior to its expansion, the business park provided 10 units and a business centre catering for five businesses, with existing tenants including Startfresh, a specialist processor of quality fresh produce and Cake and Biscuit LLP, an innovator in home baking products and Oggies Catering, a high-quality food manufacturing and delivery specialist.

Councillor Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Resources and Neighbourhood Regeneration, said: “The food park has been so popular since it originally opened that we have had to turn away businesses in the past due to such high demand for facilities, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to attract European investment to help us to expand this fantastic facility.

“The expansion is expected to create up to 90 jobs for local people, and we are confident this investment will continue to promote Nottingham as a key location for food and drink manufacturing in the UK.”

Existing food and drink manufacturers throughout the East Midlands and beyond, or entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business in the food industry will be able to take a first look around the 12 new units on Tuesday 18th August between 9 – 4.30pm, and again on 8th September. Interested companies will be able to find out more about leases and rental levels and can contact the council’s Property Plus Service, on: (0115) 8763914 or the Food & Drink forum at Southglade Food Park, on: 07515 393 114

Jobs that will be created at the food park will be advertised through the council’s Nottingham Jobs Hub. Nottingham people looking for work in the city can view a list of jobs by visiting: www.nottinghamjobs.com or can call Nottingham Jobs Hub, on: (0115) 876 4508

The Southglade Food Park Phase 2 project is part financed by the East Midlands European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding