TOWN hall chiefs hope two new mini business parks could create at least 100 jobs for Barrow.
Barrow Borough Council has also revealed it is getting £8.4m in special funds over the next three years to help pay for these and other factories which could be built, creating jobs and training opportunities.
The money is from the Working Neighbourhood Fund to help towns tackle unemployment and deprivation.
It will be used to support local skills development and enterprise development, including new factories and offices.
Work will start on the first of the proposed mini parks at the end of this month if all goes to plan. The planned site at Forge Close and a new one at James Freel Close – both within the greater Furness Business Park and next to Walney Channel – will see a total of 13 small factories built to attract firms, costing around £2m to put up.
One site at Forge Close, which is receiving European Union cash, will have six units, totalling 20,000 sq ft of covered space.
The proposal has existed for two years but contaminated land on the former Brady Haulage and steelworks site had to be reclaimed.
Monitoring of the ground water to show it is clear of industrial contaminants has been going on at the site for three months.
But that should be finished soon, said Barrow Borough Council’s deputy director of regeneration Steve Solsby.
The second site, at the end of James Free Close next to Walney Channel, is on the same former Brady land owned by the borough council.
It will comprise of a row of five small factories or work units and two others on the opposite side of the road.
Planning permission has still to be given for the James Freel Close development and the council is waiting for a grant offer from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, to help pay for the new units.
Mr Solsby said: “They are both speculative builds. In our case for the development we say that Forge Close will create a possible maximum 50 jobs but obviously that depends on who shows interest and who goes into them. We have had one or two inquiries already.”
It is hoped the James Free Close buildings will also create at least 50 jobs, although some might come from existing firms relocating.
The town hall’s grant from the Working Neighbourhood Fund is £2,362,517 for 2008/09, £2,950,419 for 2009/10 and £3,091,848 for 2010/11.