Work to bring a new Wickes store to Edginswell Business Park are moving at pace, after construction challenges were overcome.
After facing unprecedented challenges in the construction industry, Torbay Council has progressed with works that will see a new 2,300 square metre purpose-built store open in the Autumn of 2023.
The project, which is being managed by TDA, is delivering numerous benefits in terms of developing skills, offering employment opportunities and reducing the carbon footprint by repurposing surplus material to the nearby Nightingale Park Solar Farm project.
Kier Construction started working on the Edginswell site in September 2022 and have since undertaken significant works to prepare the site for the construction of the Wickes unit. Kier is supporting TDA’s Build Torbay initiative and delivering employment and skills plans as part of the project, so that Torbay residents are benefitting from the jobs and training opportunities presented by the construction scheme.
The project has benefitted from a significant grant award from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Getting Building Fund which has allowed the enablement works of the Edginswell site, as well as further construction and regeneration development. Torbay Council has also invested substantial sums both in the whole site and in the construction of the Wickes unit.
We have substantially reduced costs and impact on the environment by repurposing surplus material to their nearby Nightingale Park Solar Farm project. The material will be used to provide a level base for the solar arrays and being just a five-minute journey away drastically reduces the carbon footprint associated with the project.
Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said; “There is no doubt that the second half of 2022 presented a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges in the construction industry. The War in Ukraine, escalating energy costs, supply chain problems, inflation, increasing material costs, Brexit and the economic fallout from the pandemic all put pressures on this project. Officers have worked hard to overcome these challenges to be able to deliver this scheme and support another important project for Torbay.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “This site has long been identified in the Local and Neighbourhood Plans as valuable business and employment space. With work well underway, we’re excited to watch the build take shape and ultimately open later this year, creating not only more choice for consumers but new jobs for local people.
The remaining plots on the site are earmarked for employment and we are inviting conversations with businesses that might be interested in being located there.”
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said; “We were delighted to be able to award £2million towards developing this strategic employment site for Torbay, helping to accelerate the project and unlock new jobs and business space. It’s fantastic to see these new developments at the Edginswell Business Park now coming forward, which will open up much needed employment opportunities in construction and retail. It is a great opportunity for Torbay’s communities.”
Doug Lloyd, Regional Director at Kier Construction, Western & Wales, said; “We are pleased to be working on the Edginswell project continuing our work within Torbay. Both during construction and once completed, this business park will provide a welcome employment boost to the area. As a Devon-based business, this is very important to us.
“Work on site is progressing well and we look forward to seeing Wickes moving in and making the most of this fantastic development.”
The Solar Farm at Nightingale Park received planning permission in June 2022. Works to open up and prepare the site have started, with full construction works expected to start during the winter of 2023.
Image from left to right: Cllr Swithin Long, Paul Purser (Project Manager, Kier), Cllr Robert Loxton, Chris Robinson (Senior Site Manager, Kier), Cllr Darren Cowell, Dan Hughes (Apprentice Construction Manager, Kier), Cllr Steve Darlling, Richard Sutton (Commercial Development Team Leader, TDA), Cllr Christine Carter.