Investment News | 19 January 2021

SmartParc submits plans for 155-acre high-tech food campus

Share this post:

SmartParc has submitted plans for its 155-acre high-tech food manufacturing campus on the former Celanese site near Spondon.

The 1.8 million sq ft facility will provide manufacturing facilities, start-up incubation units and a potential location for a Food Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence. It is thought that the scheme will create 5,000 jobs.


Derby City Council, D2N2 LEP and Marketing Derby have been playing an important role in helping SmartParc realise its ambitions for the site.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “Smart Parc is an exciting and innovative concept that will not only create thousands of jobs but also help diversify our economy.

“Marketing Derby has been working with their team for some time and we are delighted to see planning being submitted so quickly. It’s beginning to feel real, which is fantastic news.”

The flagship Spondon site is part of SmartParc’s ambition to provide a “new sustainable blueprint” for the industry.

This will include vertical farming and smart technology to improve production and energy efficiency.

Reduction strategies for food waste, food miles and carbon output will also be implemented increasing UK food security and UK PLC competitiveness on the global stage.

Jackie Wild, chief executive of SmartParc, said: “We’re delighted to take another step forward in our plans to put Derby at the heart of the UK’s future in sustainable, efficient food manufacturing.

“We are liaising closely with local residents and stakeholders to ensure their views are incorporated in our plans to regenerate the site and exploring SME business and university partnerships to bring our collaborative next-generation sustainable food ecosystem to life.

“We are proud to be partnering with D2N2 and Derby City Council to reenergise the local region.”

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, said: “We are hugely excited to see the SmartParc scheme progressing so quickly and positively.

“The project fits perfectly with Derby’s future ambitions. Its focus on innovation and lowering carbon outputs ticks key boxes in our economic recovery strategy.

“If planning is approved, it would greatly assist our efforts to diversify the city economy.

“And, of course, the project would create thousands of new jobs and rejuvenate a previously blighted but strategically important site.”

The D2N2 LEP is supporting SmartParc with a £12 million grant, secured through the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

Sajeeda Rose, chief executive of the D2N2 LEP, said: “We want our region to build back better, bigger and faster to fuel a green economic recovery and deliver long-term economic growth.

“This submission is great news for Derby and for the whole of our region and will provide a much-needed boost to confidence and our recovery efforts.

“We are confident that, once the final business case is approved, the D2N2 LEP’s £12 million investment, through the Government's Getting Building Fund, will support the creation of a world-leading sustainable food-manufacturing facility that will deliver pioneering innovation, boost jobs and transform the local economy.”

Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said the development would provide a welcome boost to Derby’s economy.

He said: “SmartParc will have a transformative effect on the Derby economy, creating employment and investment opportunities for the city.

“SmartParc will put Derby on the map as a food and drink manufacturing hub of national and international significance.”

Subject to planning permission from Derby City Council, SmartParc’s intention is to start to redevelop the Celanese site this spring, with planned opening and initial occupation by the end of the year.

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds