A new link road that will provide access to a brand new community on the outskirts of Ashbourne will open next month, paving the way for the creation of thousands of jobs.
Harrison Way links a new roundabout on the A52 to Blenheim Road, which passes through the Ashbourne Airfield Industrial Estate, opening up access to over 100 acres of brownfield development land.
The land will be developed to create Dales Park, an ambitious mixed-use development spearheaded by FW Harrison, comprising a business park, new commercial units, a pub, hotel, community facilities and more than 360 homes.
The construction of Dales Park is expected to generate significant employment in addition to the 2,000 jobs currently supported by some 70 businesses in the area.
The Harrison family, who run FW Harrison, bought the land in the 1960s following the closure of the former RAF Ashbourne air base.
Joanne Harrison, director at FW Harrison, said: “While the roundabout has been completed for some time now, the link road has been delayed for a variety of reasons, including simply bad weather, and so we are very pleased to set a date for its opening.
“It will bring so many benefits to Ashbourne. Not only will it open up access to land for residential and commercial units, creating and securing jobs for the city, it will also alleviate the bottleneck created by having only one point of access to the airfield property.
“And it also provides space for companies currently based at Ashbourne Airfield to expand. So many companies want to grow but don’t have the space, so this gives them the opportunity to expand without having to leave Ashbourne.
“We are very proud to have built Harrison Way for the community of Dales Park and it will be exciting to see this developed.”
The project is being funded by FW Harrison Estates Ltd with support from Derbyshire County Council to enable the roundabout and link road construction.
The improvement works on the final stretch of Blenheim Road have been funded by Derbyshire Dales District Council, with a £1 million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to cover the cost of the roundabout.
A Derbyshire Dales District Council spokesman said: “The development of the former Ashbourne Airfield is a hugely important regeneration project for the District Council. The site is key to economic growth in our district and provides much-needed jobs and housing. We are delighted that ten years of work by Derbyshire Dales District Council has unlocked the regeneration of Ashbourne Airfield.
“This site is excellently located. The new link road will help resolve existing motorway capacity issues and release the huge potential of the site, providing expansion opportunities for local businesses, maintained land to attract new businesses and local employment in the Derbyshire Dales district.
The new connecting road will be officially opened on 19 May.