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Ark Estates begins work on new Inverness Airport Business Park base for international renewables player ENERCON


By Andrew Dixon


James Campbell, Willie Gray, Brian Innes and Keith Duncan at the site.
James Campbell, Willie Gray, Brian Innes and Keith Duncan at the site.

WORK is under way on a new distribution and training hub at Inverness Airport Business Park (IAPB) for global wind energy company Enercon.

Property investment and development company Ark Estates is constructing the 10,000 sq ft building.

William Gray (Ark Estates managing director), James Campbell (IABP chairman) and Brian Innes and Keith Duncan (from lead contractor IBI Joiners) have been checking out the early stages of construction.

The unit, which is being built with the support of a grant of up to £173,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), will comprise a 6320 sq ft warehouse and 4080 sq ft office and will serve as Enercon’s flagship Scottish distribution and training centre.

The German renewable energy giant will employ 20 permanent staff at the base, with further recruitment and expansion anticipated. The site will also become Enercon’s main UK training centre.

More than 200 technicians are expected to receive training at the company’s new UK base in its first year alone.

Mr Gray said: “We are delighted to begin construction on Enercon’s new Scottish flagship site. As with many of our other pre-let industrial builds, this one will be tailored to meet the client’s needs, providing them with a turn-key solution that we can hand over to them upon completion.

“It’s fantastic to see such a major international company choosing to locate to Inverness Airport Business Park. With high levels of interest in the development – and with the A96 scheduled for dualling and a new airport rail link set to be built in the near future – Ark Estates is addressing demand by also releasing to market a 5000 sq ft unit at the business park with further units to follow in due course.”

The Enercon unit is set to be operational early next year.

Julian Martin, managing director of Enercon Services UK, said: “The IABP site was selected as Enercon’s preferred location for its new distribution and training centre after extensive property market research in the Inverness area. Ark Estates will provide a purpose-built facility that will meet Enercon’s current and future requirements with convenient UK and international travel through Inverness Airport, national rail and road connections.”

Alistair McMillan, senior development manager at HIE, said: “HIE is delighted to have been able to support this significant project. The development will help to consolidate Inverness Airport Business Park as an important hub for economic activity and growth in the area. Establishing a flagship HQ for such a high-profile international renewables company at IABP, will also help to grow an international business and create high-quality jobs and training opportunities in the energy sector.”

Mr Campbell said: “Today’s announcement from Ark Estates marks another milestone in the growth of IABP and reinforces the continued development we are witnessing. The momentum is really starting to build and it is great to see a respected developer like Ark Estates submit plans to deliver two new commercial units. They join the Co-operative Group, who recently opened their new distribution centre at IABP, while work also got under way in January on a new multimillion-pound, 130-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel to be located at the park.”

Mr Innes said: “IBI Joiners are delighted to be working with Ark Estates on this project and to be involved in contributing to the continued growth of the Inverness Airport Business Park. With groundworks, foundations and steel works well under way within two weeks of commencing on site we look forward to delivering this project on time with the support of our local supply chain.”



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