A NORTH Yorkshire developer has begun work on phase two of a £5.5m business park.

Marrtree Investments completed the first phase of Marrtree Business Park at Thirsk in February on schedule despite progress being hampered by lockdowns and other Covid restriction.

Phase one is now fully let to trade-counter anchor tenants Screwfix and Toolstation, along with Motor Parts Direct, Duftons Plumbing and Heating Supplies and bathrooms supplier PJH.

York Press:

From left: George Marshall, Marrtree; Mike Whitaker, Corstorphine & Wright Architects; James Kirby-Welch, Kirby-Welch & Co; Eddie Ashworth, HACS; William Marshall, Marrtree.

The second 30,000 sq ft phase, costing £2.5m, will create a further 10 trade and warehouse employment units at Sowerby Gateway, the 70-acre development with 950 homes, close to the A1 (M) and A19 at Thirsk.

Harrogate-based Marrtree Investments is also behind plans for a business park in York after acquiring the 2.4 acre site of the former B&M store at Clifton Moor which was gutted by a blaze in October, 2018.

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An investigation later concluded that the fire was started in a storage yard by a discarded cigarette or lighter, which was 'fanned by high winds' and rapidly spread to the store.

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Marrtree Investments has lodged a planning application to develop a commercial scheme for the site, with the potential to create 100 jobs.

Meanwhile, work on phase two of the Thirsk development, led by construction group HACS, is due for completion in August 2022 and is expected to create about 80 jobs.

William Marshall, Marrtree Investments director, said: “The first phase of our Thirsk scheme has been a great success and once again we’ve seen high demand for the kind of modern, high-quality employment space with which Marrtree is synonymous.

“Two of the phase II units are already under offer from prospective tenants and we expect all the units to be let quite rapidly.”

Fellow director George Marshall added: “We’re really proud that this development has so far brought around 80 new jobs to the Thirsk area and we’re excited to see the second phase get underway - with the prospect of further job opportunities for local people.

“Our contractor, HACS, is also based nearby in Ripley and so the construction of the development itself is also helping to provide employment, which of course in turn drives economic benefits for the area.”

Marrtree Investments has a portfolio of more than 20 business parks in the north of England. Founded in Bradford in the 1940s, it is now run by the third-generation brothers William and George Marshall.