Entrepreneur's transformation of Peterborough business park
One example of Neville Wright's desire to make his money work for the good of the community is the development of Peterborough's Mancetter Square.
He said: “When I bought Mancetter Square four years ago it was a rubbish tip because tenants had dumped their waste in the empty units.
“I spent £30,000 just on skips to get rid of all the rubbish.
“There were about 10 tenants and the estate was making a loss.
“It now has 50 tenants and there is a waiting list of companies that want to move on to the site.
“It is a really good place for people who have just started a business as I don’t demand a deposit or references.
“I do it because I want to put something back into the city. Money has been spent on helping people, which is totally the opposite of the way business people are usually portrayed.”
Two acres of the site used to be occupied by Kiddicare in its early days. The Kiddicare building has since been the home of the new TV shopping channel Hochanda but will now be demolished to make way for a Lidl store.
But change may be coming to Mancetter Square.
New government energy efficiency regulations called MEES may demand an enormous investment in the units. MEES will make it unlawful from April 2018 to let out buildings that do not achieve a specified minimum energy performance.
Mr Wright said: “I only found out about MEES last week. It may force me to demolish the site unless the local authority steps in to help.
“I have spent £1 million in the last four years improving the site for tenants and I have three people on site permanently to do maintenance work.”
Another project he is involved with is the construction of the first Starbucks drivethro coffee shop in Hampton along with three speculatively-built units.
Mr Wright’s extensive range of companies have also ventured into the world of new technology.
He is at the forefront of far reaching changes in the way we shop with technology-based Paperless Receipts, of London, which in the last 10 months has issued 425 million receipts.