Enterprise zone talks over Infinity ParkBy Adrian O'Connor, Business Editor
By Adrian O'Connor
Negotiations are under way to include Infinity Park in an enterprise zone, according to the chief executive of Derby City Council.
Adam Wilkinson told the Derby City Embassy at the Institute of Directors in London the first sites on the 250-acre commercial and technology park would be accessible in about a year's time, once infrastructure work has been completed.
Early enquiries have already been made by potential inward investors at Infinity Park.
Wilkinson said: "An exciting prospect for this site, although I don't think we need it because it'll fly, is that it could be one we can define as an enterprise zone.
"When it comes to international interest, this particular development will be on that first list when organisations come looking for where to invest next.
"Those negotiations are ongoing but it'd certainly add an extra weight to the ability to market this site."
Infinity Park would be included under the umbrella of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership's existing enterprise zone, which currently consists of four separate sites in Nottingham.
About 8,000 employees will eventually be able to be accommodated at Infinity Park, which borders Rolls-Royce's facilities in Sinfin.
Paul Harris, director of economic development at Rolls-Royce, said the manufacturer was pleased to be able to contribute land to Infinity Park and was in turn happy with the local authority's role in putting in infrastructure work.
The development will further strengthen the city's manufacturing ability. Harris said: "The technology feats our Derby workforce achieves are genuinely world leading and world class.
"The capability the company has developed with the community in Derby is exceptionally strong with leading experts that are sought around the world, but choose to live in Derby and work for Rolls-Royce."
Ranjit Banwait, leader of Derby City Council, launched the Derby City Living Fund as part of a vision to attract residential investors and developers to the city.
Andrew Stanford, head of the private rented sector taskforce at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said the mood among investors had changed from 18 months ago when interest was restricted to London.
Stanford added: "Ever since the forecast for gross domestic product started to tick up in the UK, the institutional investors have started to quite like the look of investing in the regions, with higher income returns than outside London and the South East.
"I know one or two are not even bothering looking at London and they're going straight to the regions. For Derby that can only be good news.
"I'm excited about the prospects of build to rent in Derby, I've been there twice since our work began and I've seen some excellent sites coming on stream."
The 20-acre former Derby Royal Infirmary site was picked out as one site ripe for PRS investors.