Sidley Goods Yard - boost

'STARTER' units for new businesses on the old Sidley Goods Yard site will give Rother regeneration a flying start when the nation emerges from recession. That was the view of Rother District Council cabinet on Monday.

Despite fears that the economic downturn has increased the financial risk attached to Rother's proposed new light industrial site, the meeting agreed an amended recommendation to full council.

The Monday, March 2, council meeting will now be asked to accept the 2,899,266 lowest tender for creating the light industrial site subject to officers being able to secure the funding.

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Moving the amended recommendation, Cllr Deirdre Williams said that, historically, small light industrial units were very much in demand.

It was difficult for businesses to find suitable premises in Bexhill and Rother, though some were available in Hastings.

Deputy leader Cllr Robin Patten said that, grouped together, the units would have a 'synergie' of their own. When the recession ended the development would send a signal that Rother was heading for recovery, he said.

Acknowledgement that some of the units may sit empty had been built into the figures for the venture, which at nearly 2.9m is proving more expensive than budgeted, members were told in a report.

The scheme will comprise a total of 1,600 square metres of workshop space in two blocks together with a two-storey 'incubator' block providing 20 lettable rooms for start-up businesses.