SmartParc Submits Planning for 155-acre Derby Site

April 17, 2023

SmartParc submits planning for 155-acre high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus on former Celanese site.

SmartParc today announced that it has submitted planning for its 155-acre, high-tech food manufacturing campus on the former Celanese site in Derby.

Specifically designed to address the challenges facing the food industry, the planned 2m sq ft collaborative hub, will provide state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, start-up incubation units and a potential location for a Food Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence.

Combining new purpose-built food production units with a central distribution facility, a technology centre and dedicated energy centres through the Park, the company’s revolutionary approach will bring food producers together to cluster knowledge and investment. It will also create up to 5,000 direct jobs.

The flagship site, located in Derby, is part of SmartParc’s ambition to provide a new sustainable blueprint for the industry. This will harness the latest developments such as vertical farming and smart technology to improve production and energy efficiency, reducing costs and increasing competitive advantage for Park tenants.

Reduction strategies for food waste, food miles and carbon output will also be implemented increasing UK food security and UK PLC competitiveness on the global stage.

Commenting on the planning milestone, Jackie Wild, SmartParc CEO said: “We are delighted to take another step forward in our plans to put Derby at the heart of the UK’s future in sustainable, efficient food manufacturing. We are liaising closely with local residents and stakeholders to ensure their views are incorporated in our plans to regenerate the site and exploring SME business and University partnerships to bring our collaborative next-generation sustainable food ecosystem to life. We are proud to be partnering with D2N2 and the City Council to re-energise the local region.”

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council commented: “We are hugely excited to see the SmartParc scheme progressing so quickly and positively. The project fits perfectly with Derby’s future ambitions. Its focus on innovation and lowering carbon outputs ticks key boxes in our economic recovery strategy. If planning is approved, it would greatly assist our efforts to diversify the city economy. And, of course, the project would create thousands of new jobs and rejuvenate a previously blighted but strategically important site.”

Scott Knowles, chief executive, East Midlands Chamber added:SmartParc will have a transformative effect on the Derby economy, creating employment and investment opportunities for the city. SmartParc will put Derby on the map as a food and drink manufacturing hub of national and international significance.”

John Forkin, managing director, Marketing Derby also commented: SmartParc is an exciting and innovative concept that will not only create thousands of jobs but also help diversify our economy. Marketing Derby has been working with their team for some time and we are delighted to see planning being submitted so quickly. It’s beginning to feel real, which is fantastic news.”

With further comment from Sajeeda Rose, CEO, D2N2 LEP:We want our region to build back better, bigger and faster to fuel a green economic recovery and deliver long-term economic growth. Today’s submission is great news for Derby and for the whole of our region and will provide a much-needed boost to confidence and our recovery efforts. We are confident that, once the final business case is approved, the D2N2 LEP’s £12 million investment, through the Government’s Getting Building Fund, will support the creation of a world-leading sustainable food-manufacturing facility that will deliver pioneering innovation, boost jobs and transform the local economy.”

Subject to receipt of planning permission from Derby City Council, the company’s intention is to immediately start to re-develop the Celanese site in Spring 2021 with planned opening and initial occupation by the end of the year.