THE FINAL unit in Inverurie Retail Park has opened for business, completing a success story for a local development and investment company, Northburn.
The frozen food chain Iceland is the last to occupy a site after signing a 15-year lease.
Following the job losses due to the paper mill closure, the retail park proved to be timely good news for Inverurie with the creation of 200 new jobs.
Allan Mitchell, of Northburn Developments, said the retail park had been a significant boost to Inverurie.
When Iceland took up the last unit towards the end of last year he said: “Iceland is a welcome addition to the retail mix.
“We have brought a total of nine new national retail brands to Inverurie, giving shoppers more local choice.
“Our research shows that we are drawing visitors from across Aberdeenshire and beyond, and that can only benefit the local economy.
“As a significant investor in the town I am pleased that existing High Street retailers are also reaping the rewards. This bodes well for phase two of the retail park as Inverurie goes from strength to strength.”
Northburn have said that the proposed multi-million pound retail park and recreational project will go ahead, despite the economic climate.
The company revealed when they put plans for the expansion on public display in 2010 that the scheme could create 400 jobs.
They later lodged a notice of intention to develop with Aberdeenshire Council and are awaiting finalisation of the local development plan.
Alongside the additional jobs and retail benefits to Inverurie, the developers will also be seeking planning approval to create a long-awaited riverside park across the River Urie floodplain between the town, and continuing housing developments at Uryside.
In December, developers Taylor Wimpey announced plans for a £62 million development at Souterford.
It would feature 335 new homes, which would include a range of house types from private and socially-rented two bedroom starter homes, right up to four-bedroom detached villas. In addition the development would have a number of bungalows.