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East Midlands Chamber News

Food Park Fully Booked

Leicester East MP Keith Vaz and City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby at the Leicester Food Park OpeningA specialist business park which aims to help local food and drink firms develop has secured tenants for its two remaining units.

The £5.8m Leicester Food Park, which was officially opened by City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby in February, is now fully occupied, with the deals for its final two vacant buildings having completed and their leases signed.

Bawdon Lodge Foods and RJC Trading are the latest tenants to be welcomed to the site.

They join fellow tenants, Colombian coffee merchant Shelton’s Imports, instant tea manufacturer Royaltea, Moroccan olive oil products manufacturer Alassala, hospitality services provider Odd John & Family, outside catering and event design company Stones Events and Indian cheese (paneer) manufacturer Ukay Khoa.

Leicester Food Park aims to support new start-up businesses, provide space for existing food and drink businesses to grow and create dozens of new jobs.

Its three steel-framed buildings – developed close to a business park off Lewisher Road – house nine high-quality units, ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft.

Commissioned by Leicester City Council, the Food Park is managed by the East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), working in partnership with the Food & Drink Forum.

The Chamber held an open day for prospective tenants in December and all nine units were under offer within two hours.

Sir Peter said: “Smaller food and drink businesses have been waiting for a specialist facility like this for years, so I am very pleased that our significant investment has helped deliver this high-quality scheme.

“The success of the new Food Park will help cement Leicester’s position as a place where food and drink businesses can set up and thrive."

Chamber Chief Executive George Cowcher added: “The food and drink sector has a strong capacity to grow and this fabulous new facility will play a key role in helping the sector to develop by giving start-up firms the opportunity to take on their own premises and existing firms the ability to upscale.

“From an inward investment point of view, it also has the potential to attract firms from outside of the East Midlands to set up and do business in Leicester. I think the response from potential tenants and the fact we have filled the units so quickly shows just how much demand there is for a facility like this.”

Food and Drink Forum Chairman Peter Knight said: “It’s great to hear that Leicester Food Park is now full, we look forward to being able to start working with the businesses to ensure they thrive.

“Having managed Southglade Food Park in Nottingham since its opening in 2005, we have seen at first-hand how important these unique facilities are for small and medium businesses and have witnessed a huge amount of growth throughout this time.

“We look forward to replicating this in Leicester, which is emerging as a thriving area for food and drink production.”

The park was financed with £3.4m from the European Regional Development Fund, with the city council contributing a further £2.4m.