Work has begun on a new industrial park in Annan, on a former nuclear power site, which it is hoped will start an economic and social regeneration in the area.
The first phase of the project will see two office premises and five industrial sites being built. This is scheduled for delivery by the second quarter of next year.
Works on other phases will happen incrementally, with the complete venture expected to cost £4.5m.
The Annan region has suffered nearly a decade of decline economically, following the closure of the Chapelcross nuclear plant in 2004.
Despite the necessarily long defuelling process still being in action, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Scottish Enterprise have pushed forward with the redevelopment plans.
Talking about the project, David Byers from Scottish Enterprise said:
“These units will offer much-needed office and industrial space in the region, and allow ambitious companies with growth potential the space they need to develop.”
Expansion is on the agenda for many companies, some using factoring to fuel their plans. The new facility could well attract firms from a wide area, with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Jonathan Jenkin saying:
“This development will provide much-needed business space in the Gretna-Lockerbie-Annan corridor.”
He also said it would create a lasting legacy for the area. This is a view supported by the Dunfries and Galloway Council, which has admitted it is in line with its own regeneration plans for the wider Annan area.
The scheme is being partly funded and worked on by the European Regional Development Fund.