Multi-Million pound plans have been announced to redevelop the site of the former Inverurie Paper Mill.
Kirkwood Group’s proposals could provide hundreds of jobs and give a huge boost to the local economy.
The company has acquired the former mill operational land including industrial, warehousing and office buildings. It says the potential development and investment value of a full-developed site is estimated at more than £70 million.
Kirkwood chairman Ian Dunbar said: ““We believe that this site has excellent potential for industrial and commercial development. We are preparing a longer term masterplan for the future development of the site, which will be the subject of consultation with interested parties and the wider community through the planning process later in the Spring.
The first phase of the redevelopment which will focus on re-use of existing warehouses and the main office building will begin almost immediately.
A second phase, which will seek to develop land to the north of the site, will be subject to a community engagement process in coming months, as part of the creation of an overall masterplan.
Kirkwood has obtained a legal certificate from Aberdeenshire Council, which secures the existing use consents -a mix of office, industrial and storage uses across the site.
Mr Dunbar said market interest in the property and land on the site has been very strong, adding: “We have a number of live inquiries and will be in a position in the next couple of weeks to announce our first tenants.
“This site is an excellent development opportunity. We believe it will bring significant investment to Inverurie and Aberdeenshire and stimulate jobs and investment in the community. The project will transform and bring the former Mill site back into productive economic use which is of real benefit to the town.”
The number of jobs created will depend on the type of businesses, which locate on site, but could potentially number in the hundreds.
Local politicians have welcomed Kirkwood’s announcement.
First Minister Alex Salmond, who is MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said: “It is great news for Inverurie that the site is attracting keen interest from tenants as we seek to ensure the maximum benefit for the local economy.
The site of the former mill is a strategically important employment location and has huge potential for jobs to be created. It is important that the local community once again benefits from the full utilisation of the site.”
Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce, said: “This is a prime strategic site, minutes from the airport, on the railway and well connected to the A96 and in future the AWPR.
“The redevelopment of this site therefore has great potential to attract ambitious local companies and international businesses alike, bringing investment and jobs to Inverurie and the North-east. It is crucial that the full potential of this site is realised and I look forward to seeing Kirkwood Group’s plans for the site in detail.”
Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes, Garioch Area Committee chairman, said: “The International Paper Mill site has, for many many years, played an important part in the economic prosperity of the Inverurie area. It has been identified as a key area for business development in the emerging Local Plan, given its history, location and excellent transport links.
“I am extremely pleased to hear that the sale of the site has been concluded and look forward to hearing what the new owners, Kirkwood Group, plan for the site through a comprehensive masterplanning and consultation process with interested parties. It is also pleasing to hear that International Paper will leave a legacy to the Town by providing land for playing fields.”
“I am extremely pleased to hear that the sale of the site has been concluded and look forward to hearing what the new owners, Kirkwood Group, plan for the site through a comprehensive masterplanning and consultation process with interested parties. It is also pleasing to hear that International Paper will leave a legacy to the town by providing land for playing fields.”