A leading councillor has pledged to continue building a ‘fantastic future’ for Hereford’s Enterprise Zone as he takes up a new role on the organisation’s management board.
Herefordshire Councillor Graham Powell made the comments as he toured Skylon Park – the business park that is central to the Zone – to view the latest developments on the 100-acre site in Rotherwas.
Councillor Powell, the council’s Cabinet Member for Economy & Corporate Services, will serve on the six-strong board that oversees the strategic development of the Zone.
He represents the Golden Valley South ward and has been a councillor since April 2011.
Councillor Powell said Skylon Park was instrumental in the economic wellbeing of the county.
“Making Herefordshire more attractive to businesses is vitally important. Creating new business and new jobs brings more people to the county, which is positive for the long-term economic prosperity of Herefordshire.
“Skylon Park is playing a crucial role in that. As well as the developments already on site like Western Power and Beck Products there are lots of exciting projects in the pipeline – the future is fantastic for Skylon Park.”
Councillor Powell said he saw his role on the board as an “interface” between the council and the Enterprise Zone.
“We are getting less and less funding from Central Government and need to rely more on council tax and business rates to support the delivery of our core services. Bringing more businesses and people to the county with developments like Skylon Park will help us generate that income.
“The council can enable the infrastructure that can help Skylon Park thrive and I look forward to providing a link between the two organisations for the benefit of Herefordshire as a whole.”
Bill Jackson, Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, said: “I am delighted to welcome Councillor Powell onto the board.
“He is committed to organisations working together to bring economic prosperity to Herefordshire and I look forward to working with him.”
Skylon Park is already home to a regional centre for Western Power Distribution and construction industry supplier Marches Global. Beck Products, a leading UK supplier to the construction and horticultural industries, also has a base on the Park. A number of other projects are currently under construction.
Skylon Court, a £1.7 million development that will offer high quality business space, workshops and flexible units, is due to be completed this summer.
Businesses moving onto Skylon Park can benefit from a range of incentives including simplified and free planning, superfast and ultrafast broadband and business rates relief.
With more than 100 acres of land available for development, the Zone is looking to stimulate significant business activity, with over 4,000 jobs accommodated on site by 2022.