A major infrastructure project is underway on the outskirts of Alnwick, as part of plans to facilitate further commercial development in the town.
Northumberland Estates is investing £1.2m in a new access road, public footpaths, street lighting, bus stops and drainage works at Lionheart Industrial Estate. Works are also being undertaken to widen the existing A1068 highway to deal with additional traffic volumes.
The works are taking place alongside the construction of a new salt depot for Highways England, who have signed a 15-year lease with Northumberland Estates. The new scheme, which has been designed by professional construction services firm, The Shadbolt Group, is due for completion before the end of 2017.
A spokesperson for Highways England said: “The new depot will be used to support the ongoing maintenance and winter services along the A1, the main route through Northumberland to the Scottish border.
“Highways England is planning a significant investment in this strategic route over the next few years and this new depot will enable us to continue maintaining the existing infrastructure and give us the capacity to manage any future improvements for our customers”.
The Lionheart Estate is prominently positioned on the eastern side of the A1 on the outskirts of Alnwick Town Centre and is already home to a wide range of companies including JT Dove, MKM, Blackshaws and Plumb Center.
Michael O’Driscoll, senior asset manager at Northumberland Estates said: “The infrastructure works will open up Lionheart to create a range of new development opportunities. The land is earmarked for employment uses and we envisage that there will be genuine demand for industrial, trade and motor trade uses.
“We are currently on site building the new salt depot and working with appointed agents, HTA Real Estate, to identify further design and build development opportunities for companies who are interested in being part of the Lionheart estate."
Elsewhere in Alnwick, Northumberland Estates is proposing a new retail scheme at Willowburn which could create 90 new jobs for the town. A planning application for the site, which is located south of Greensfield Industrial Estate, is likely to be submitted later this summer.