New Cheltenham business park still needed, says chamber adviser
A CHELTENHAM firm is celebrating after bucking the trend and spending a six-figure sum expanding its site.
The move by Adey Professional Heating Solutions has highlighted the need for firms to be in the right location and led to fresh calls for the town to have a new business park.
Having created its head office at the former Amethyst Honda garage in Gloucester Road, it plans to move into the former Seat showroom next door in the new few weeks.
Kelvin Stevens, Adey's managing director, said the firm was more than happy to stay in Cheltenham rather than seek a bigger site elsewhere.
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He said: "There's a growing range of our products. This is a fabulous site. It impresses everyone that pulls up here. I don't think there's another site quite like it in Cheltenham."
Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood welcomed the firm's decision to develop the site.
He said: "I'm always delighted to hear about Cheltenham businesses expanding and it's great to hear that Adey made such a positive decision to commit real investment to staying in Cheltenham. It's a real vote of confidence."
Robert Duncan, planning adviser for Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, said a new business park is still needed for Cheltenham.
He believes space for companies to expand is essential for growth – even after a year which saw a number of companies expand in the town.
Mr Duncan said: "It's very good news and there are a number of companies already in Cheltenham which are doing extremely well.
"But Adey is capable of expanding because there is space for them to do so. Not everyone can do that.
"Though the economy is not great, we've got to make sufficient provision for land to encourage new employers in and let people here expand in the area or we will become a commuter town."
Last year, he warned the only option open to the authorities was to find a spot for a new business park, or risk seeing big name firms leaving Cheltenham for good.
Yesterday he said his comments still stood, despite the success story of Adey.
Adey moved to Gloucester Road two-and-a-half years ago, and plans to use its new site for training and conferences.
It employs 40 people directly and there are 70 other people whose jobs are linked to the company. Plans for a change of use of the site have been lodged with the borough council.