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DEADLINE NEARS IN PRIDE PARK BIDDING
Copyright www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk

[ October 29th 2001 ]

There are just 24 hours left for businesses to bid for the final few acres of Derby's world-renowned Pride Park development. Derby City Council entered into a final campaign to market the land last month following the completion of the Wilmorton link road on September 7.

The road opened up access to the last 21.5 acres of undeveloped land at the site. The deadline for bids for plots, ranging from 1.5 acres to 12.3 acres, is tomorrow. The number of businesses that move onto the land will depend upon how many tenders the council receives and how much land each company wants to occupy. It is hoped that businesses will bring with them the promise of jobs for Derby people.

Chris Williamson, deputy leader of the city council, said: "Pride Park is a huge success in terms of the number of companies it has attracted and jobs it has created. We would hope that new companies which move onto the final pieces of land will provide jobs, which would be a huge boost especially considering the recent announcement of redundancies at Rolls-Royce." R-R announced 5,000 job losses earlier this month with 1,900 expected in Derby.

The tender document sent out to firms contains no guideline as to how much the council expects to sell the land for. Recent land sales, however, have ranged between 200,000 and 300,000 per acre, meaning that the council could make more than 6m from the sale of the final 21.5 acres. Michael Foote, the council's director of corporate services, said that bidders would all take professional advice and would be aware of the approximate market value.

The bids are being collected by Derby-based commercial property agent Innes England, which will report back to the council after tomorrow's deadline. Russell Rigby, of Innes England, said: "We have been talking seriously to around 20 different companies who have intimated that they are going to try to co-operate with getting an offer in by tomorrow." Mr Rigby said that bids were likely to include restaurants, car showrooms, offices, manufacturing and warehouses.

Pride Park was once the site of the city's gas works, heavy engineering works, a gravel extraction site and a landfill site. The council commissioned the design and implementation of a phased reclamation of contaminated land there in 1993. The project has received a national Business Commitment to the Environment award, it featured in an Expo in Hanover, and Derby has been invited to address a European Soil and Land conference in Osnabruck, Germany.

Pride Park has attracted a variety of businesses. Internet bank Egg occupies 260,000 sq ft of office space, while David Lloyd Leisure and Derby County Football Club take up significant sites. It also contains motor dealerships and offices for Software AG, Eidos and AEA Technology.

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