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Torbay Council invests £6.5 million in new factory for South Devon firm

Torbay Council is to invest £6.5 million in a construction project that will deliver a 64,500 sq ft factory for Japanese-owned Graphic Controls Ltd.

Local developers Midas Commercial Developments Ltd, advised by Alder King, will develop the facility on Phase 6 of Torbay Business Park, Paignton.

The move supports Torbay Council’s strategy of making long-term investments that both promote growth of the local economy and generate rental income for the Council.

With sites in Germany and France, Graphic Controls Ltd had been looking at options across Europe for modern, improved production facilities as an alternative to its current base at Baltic Wharf in Totnes, where it has been based for the past 15 years.  The investment in Torbay will ensure that the company stays in South Devon, safeguarding existing jobs locally and leading to job growth in Torbay in the future.

Planning permission was granted for the development in March 2017. With contracts now exchanged between the three parties, construction will commence in July 2017 with Graphic Controls moving into the new building in May of next year.

Steve Russell, Director of Midas Commercial Developments, said: “This has been an exciting project to bring together with the Council and Graphic Controls and we are now really looking forward to progressing with this latest development at the Business Park.  

“Phase 6 has already seen the construction of 35,000 sq ft of commercial units, currently occupied by other local firms including Two Bare Feet and China Blue. Graphic Controls will be a welcome addition.

“More units of varying sizes are planned in the near future with Phase 6 having capacity for a further 100,000 sq ft in total.”

Tony Slatter, managing director of Graphic Controls, said: “The support from Torbay Council and TDA made the decision to relocate to Torbay an easy one. The investment in, and development of, the land at Torbay Business Park means that we are able to move our business to a modern facility that enables us to grow.”

In September 2016, the Council created an Investment Fund with the purpose of acquiring opportunities and investments which will deliver benefits for the area whilst also generating a profit. The rents paid to the Council through the fund will generate a long term income stream to help fund essential Council services.

Alan Denby, Torbay Development Agency’s Director of Economic Strategy and Performance, said: “TDA continually reviews the market to identify investment opportunities on behalf of Torbay Council. This particular development will ensure that jobs of Torbay residents will be secured, create more jobs and generate a rental income for Torbay Council. This initiative positively reflects the efforts of Torbay Council and TDA to deliver Torbay’s Economic Strategy and Corporate Plan.”

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Graphic Controls to Torbay. The Council has made a conscious decision to invest to support the local economy, protect and create jobs and encourage more businesses to invest in Torbay.

“Business in Torbay continues to develop through regeneration projects, such as the Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre, with further investment planned. These projects will further enhance the competitiveness of the wider region and provide investment and expansion opportunities.”

Noel Stevens, partner at Alder King’s Exeter office, added: “With an improving transport infrastructure, a growing number of important businesses and clusters of businesses, the future for Torbay is hugely positive.”

Midas is also progressing speculative development of two buildings of 12,000 sq ft, one for single occupation and a second which can be broken up to provide units from 1,500 sq ft.  More details on these are available from Noel Stevens at Alder King’s Exeter office or by clicking here.


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