BUSINESS: Distribution park will bring 2,500 jobs to city

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THE Government has given its stamp of approval for a £140 million warehouse and distribution park which will bring 2,500 jobs to the city.

THE Government has given its stamp of approval for a 140 million warehouse and distribution park which will bring 2,500 jobs to the city.

Known as Gateway to Peterborough, the five giant buildings at Alwalton Hill, in Orton Southgate, on a site equivalent in acreage to more than 40 football pitches, is expected to kick start the city's ambitious growth agenda.

Peterborough City Council's planning department gave the green light for building work to start earlier this year.

And yesterday the office of the Deputy Prime Minister gave its approval to the project.

Work is expected to start in the next couple of months, with the first occupants moving in by next summer.

Chief executive of Peterborough-based developers Frenbury Properties Wally French said: "This has been a large and complex planning application and I want to thank the planning team at Peterborough City Council which has dealt with it so professionally.

"They have helped enormously to ensure this important scheme has progressed speedily through the system. We will now be finalising the detailed design of the buildings and the landscaping.

"Gateway should, ultimately, provide new employment for 2,500 people from the region. Considerable interest has already been shown in the site and its units by potential occupiers."

The Gateway Partnership is a joint venture between Peterborough-based Frenbury Properties and Simons Developments, based in Lincoln.

The two companies are working with Milton Estate, which owns the site – the size of which is equivalent to more than 40 football pitches.

It is located next to the A1(M), and access will be from Junction 1 on Fletton Parkway, to offer easy access to commercial traffic, as well as keeping lorries and heavy vehicles away from residential areas.

Cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration Cllr John Holdich said: "I'm very pleased to see a local company investing in Peterborough and bringing 2,500 new jobs to the area.

"There will also be spin-off jobs across the city, which is exactly what Peterborough needs.

"An economic report had stated that Peterborough will see 6,000 job losses in traditional industries, such as manufacturing, so we need to replace them with new industries.

"These are the type of jobs that people can easily move into, so it's terrific news for the city that this project is going ahead."

Simons Developments director Giles Walter said: "Gateway is as big and important project, and will really help kick-start the implementation of Peterborough's growth agenda."

Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire,welcomed the "good news" that will "create more jobs locally".

Gateway will offer cutting-edge design in a heavily landscaped environment, one in which every care has been taken to safeguard existing wildlife.

The city council's growth agenda has seen Peterborough commit to creating 17,500 new jobs – with the population increasing to more than 200,000 – by 2020.