THE first sod has been cut at a £4.9m development which it is hoped will create thousands of jobs.
Bosses Carlisle's Kingmoor Park are pressing ahead with 19 new units that will be used by small and medium-sized businesses – with huge jobs potential for the year ahead.
Kingmoor's owners, Brian Scowcroft, officially cut the first sod within the Kingmoor Park Enterprise Zone yesterday.
The units are expected to be ready in October.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has awarded the project a £760,000 grant.
Ultimately, the zone is expected to create around 3,000 jobs and attract around £190m of private-sector investment.
Kingmoor Park Properties Ltd is providing the balance and Cheshire's Pioneer Design and Build has been appointed as the main contractor.
Cubby Construction, based at Kingmoor Park, will be the primary groundwork contractor for the initial part of the development.
Kingmoor Park was officially declared an enterprise zone in 2016.
Mr Scowcroft, chairman of Kingmoor Park Properties Ltd, said: "We are keen to encourage new and budding entrepreneurs to take the next step in creating, relocating or expanding their businesses.
"In turn this will create jobs for the local area and enhance the local economy.
"There is demand for modern, good quality space of this size and we felt that the demand was outstripping the supply and thankfully the Department for Communities and Local Government agreed with us.
"Pioneer Design and Build come extremely highly recommended. They have an impressive industrial portfolio extending throughout Cheshire, the North West and across the UK.
They will be using local sub-contractors alongside approved sub-contractors from the Cheshire area, so everyone benefits."
The development will provide units from 1,550sq ft to 4,500sq ft.
In March, Pendragon PLC submitted plans for an Evans Halshaw car store on land just off the A689 on Kingsway.
The site, on former agricultural land near the bypass and Thomas Graham & Sons Steel Stockholders and Industrial Supplies, is currently vacant.
The application said the firm would create 51 full-time jobs and one part time position.
An application for a new Synter Mercedes-Benz showroom on Spellar Way was approved last year.
Work has begun to build the dealership and once complete, it will see the firm's city staff numbers rise from 52 to 100.
Other businesses are showing interest in Kingmoor Park, with a national petrol forecourt operator, pub chain and energy-related companies understood to be among them.
The Enterprise Zone status aims to support SME formation and existing SMEs looking to stay in the area but finding it difficult to find suitable space.
The park's enterprise zone status also will provide a host of benefits including simplified planning, superfast broadband and rate discounts of up to £275,000 per qualifying business over five years.
Kingmoor Park, almost three miles from Carlisle city centre, has over two million square feet of existing buildings set within 400 acres.
Enterprise Zone status brings incentives including up to 100 per cent business rate discount – worth a maximum £275,000 over five years – simplified local authority planning and support to ensure superfast broadband.
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