Over 500 skilled jobs could be created at a bio business park being planned for York.
A partnership between York-based developer North Star, and contractor Simpson, along with the Biorenewable Development Company (BDC) is proposing the development on land next to the existing commercial park just off the A64, opposite the Highwayman café.
It has been named “York Vale Bio Business Park.”
The BDC is an open-access R&D biorefinery centre, and a subsidiary of the University of York, working between academia and industry to convert plants, microbes and biowastes into profitable biorenewable products.
It already operates a bio park in Dunnington, which is owned by Simpson. This is now fully occupied, with a waiting list of companies wishing to take space.
The new business park is intended to provide flexible space for new firms and successful companies to grow into, within this expanding sector.
It will complement the Local Enterprise Partnership’s ambitions for York and North Yorkshire to be the UK’s first Carbon negative region and the BioYorkshire initiative, a collaboration between the University of York, Fera Science and Askham Bryan College to build the region’s bioeconomy sector.
The masterplan, for around 300,000 sq ft of space, could also feature cutting-edge sustainable technology as well as an electric charging hub and a nature reserve for both people working at the park and residents to enjoy.
A key element of the plans is also a roundabout to serve the new and existing businesses which will improve road safety at this accident black spot.
There are already around 40 businesses at the current business park and these plans would see the existing buildings upgraded and made more sustainable.
A spokesman for the partnership involved in delivering the plans said: “This is an opportunity to help make York and North Yorkshire cement its place as an exemplar region in the bioeconomy sector.
“If we don’t create more space then businesses will be lost to other parts of the UK, which we know is already happening.
“The excellent existing facilities at the BDC in Dunnington and the FERA campus at Sand Hutton are both oversubscribed and so there is a desperate need for more flexible, specialist space for growing and new businesses to flourish.
“We do not believe that there is anywhere else in York that could accommodate this space, especially in such a strategic location, ideally situated between the existing BDC facilities and the FERA Campus.”
A planning application is expected to be submitted to City of York Council in the coming months and work could start next year, if approval is granted.