A vital link road providing access to a brand new community on the edge of Ashbourne was officially opened last week – creating new jobs and homes, improving connectivity and reducing congestion.
Pictured are some of the Derbyshire Dales District Council members and officers who helped make the 720m road - called Harrison Way - happen. From left, the District Council's Regeneration & Policy Director Steve Capes, Ashbourne district councillors Anthony Bates, Robert Archer Stuart Lees and Peter Dobbs, Chief Executive Paul Wilson and the Council's Regeneration & Place Manager Giles Dann.
The road links the new roundabout on the A52 to Blenheim Road, which runs through the Ashbourne Airfield Industrial Estate, unlocking access to in excess of 40-hectares of brownfield development land.
The project is being funded by the land’s owners FW Harrison Estates Ltd with support from Derbyshire County Council to enable the roundabout and link road construction.
The improvement works to the final stretch of Blenheim Road have been funded by Derbyshire Dales District Council, while a grant of £1m from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership helped towards the cost of the roundabout.
A Derbyshire Dales District Council spokesman said:
“The development of the former Ashbourne Airfield is a hugely significant regeneration project for the District Council. The site is key for economic growth in our district, providing much-needed jobs and homes. We are thrilled that ten years of work by Derbyshire Dales District Council has unlocked the regeneration of Ashbourne Airfield."
The land will be developed to create Dales Park, comprising a new high quality business park, new commercial units, a pub, hotel, community facilities and more than 360 homes, providing a space where people can work, live, entertain and enjoy themselves.
The completion of the link road scheme will deliver significant regeneration benefits for Ashbourne which is set to further benefit from the recent £13.37m Levelling Up fund aware to improve the town centre.
The creation of Dales Park is expected to generate thousands of jobs and represents major investment in the area, which is already the largest employment location in the Derbyshire Dales.More than 70 companies currently operate on the industrial estate employing around 2,000 people.
The development creates a piece of history for the Harrison family who run FW Harrison, which bought the land in the 1960s following closure of the former RAF Ashbourne air base.
Sixty years on, the family is finally putting its long-term purchase to good use and company directors Paul and Joanne Harrison are hailing the unveiling of the road as the moment the development can finally be declared open for business.
The new road was officially opened on 19 May in a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines.