AROUND 180 new jobs could be created with the massive expansion of a business park.

Bury Council is seeking a development partner to build up to 70,000 sq ft of new light industrial floorspace at the Chamberhall Business Park.

The first phase of the park, which consisted of 130,000 sq ft of employment space has already been developed by developers St Modwen’s, which took possession of the site in 2015.

Businesses in occupation of the units include Burgaflex UK, Capper Sharrock Ltd, Ability-Tec, Bollin Valley Ltd and Youthstar Ltd.

St Modwen’s have advised the council that they do not wish to take up their option of developing the phase two of the land.

Bury Council said ‘this is because of a review of internal company priorities rather than any issue with the market for industrial floorspace’.

Bury Council’s leadership was due last night to ratify a decision to seek a partner to build on the seven-acre phase two area of the park.

In a report to cabinet members, Paul Lakin, director of regeneration and capital growth at the council, said: “The proposal is that the site, which is in the freehold ownership of the council, will be disposed on a long lease to the selected developer partner.

“The developer will be contractually obliged to facilitate the construction of 70,000 sq ft of new light industrial floorspace.”

Projections included in the report state if fully occupied the new units could create 180 jobs and generate £300,000 annual income flow to the council in business rates.

It is hoped a development partner will be in place by December.

Mr Lakin added: “The demand for new modern industrial units across the region has increased considerably over recent years.

“Market intelligences suggest that there is limited supply of available sites and Bury, in particular, is seen as an ideal location for this type of employment space.

“This is driven by its location and the healthy rents being achieved in the Manchester region.”

The recommendation to the council’s leaderships is to start a procurement exercise for Chamberhall phase two for a private sector developer partner to be appointed.

The disposal will be in the form of a standard long lease and subject to a bespoke development agreement to ensure that Bury achieves maximum benefits from the project.