The noted green electricity supplier Ecotricity has unveiled new plans to create a 100-acre green tech + sports center — an “Eco Park,” if you will — according to a recent press release. The plan is for the new park to be developed at Junction 13 on the M5 in Stroud, where the company is based.
The Eco Park will reportedly require a further £100 million in order to develop fully, and will create up to 4,000 jobs, according to the company. The project will reportedly be split so that two “sides” are on the opposing sides of A419 — one side comprising a “green” business park featuring “sustainably built” office buildings and light industrial units; and one side comprising various “state of the art” sporting facilities (training fields, 4G pitches, and an all-seater stadium for Forest Green Rovers, etc).
As it stands, Ecotricity is currently accepting feedback on the idea, and is planning to hold public consultations at its offices in Stroud + at The New Lawn stadium. The possibility is also there reportedly that the final concept will include a public transportation hub — one maybe including a park and ride, and canal access.
Ecotricity founder and FGR Chairman, Dale Vince, commented: “Eco Park could be a fantastic development for Stroud, a great new home for Forest Green Rovers, and a center of excellence for sport in Gloucestershire. At the same time, it’s going to be a place where green businesses and technology companies come together and share ideas, a real focal point of creativity and innovation for the area — and a part of the green industrial revolution that’s beginning to take off around the world. Today we’re going public with the concept and it marks the beginning of the consultation phase — we’re keen to hear what people think and we’re open to ideas.”
The company is, it’s worth noting here, already the biggest employer in Stroud, and recently opened a new plant dedicated to manufacturing small windmills in the area. The new concept is reportedly based on the idea that further expansion in the future is likely.
“We love it in Stroud, we want to stay here, and Eco Park will enable us to do that. We have a number of new ideas we’re working on that will need space and will create more jobs — Eco Park would be a perfect place for that.”
David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, stated: “This is a fantastic concept and would have huge benefits for Stroud and Gloucestershire. Our Strategic Economic Plan highlights the unique opportunity the M5 corridor offers through the Growth Zone. It’s a great location with excellent transport links, and could provide a huge employment boost for the area. Like many areas, Stroud has its large share of out-commuters — talent going out of Stroud for work. Eco Park would be a chance to keep talent and investment in the area, so we’re excited to be involved.”
Image Credit: Ecotricity
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