Watershed wraps up Christmas start on Aire Valley expansion

Wrapping up a Christmas start... Leeds City Council's Rowena Hall and Peter Anderson-Beck join Cllr Richard Lewis (right) and the contractors on site.

Building work has begun on a packaging company’s new manufacturing premises at the Leeds Aire Valley Enterprise Zone as it expands its operations in the city.

Work on Watershed Packaging’s new manufacturing facility at Thornes Farm is under way as the company expands its offer of bespoke packaging for a range of products.

The new premises will create up to 40 new jobs at a 25,000 sq ft unit on the 2.5 hectare site, which also allows for possible expansion of the premises by a further 25,000 sq ft in the future.

Watershed will be the first company take advantage of incentives on offer to businesses locating in the new Leeds Aire Valley zone. The enterprise zone, which went live at the beginning of April 2012, covers 142 hectares of prime development land strategically positioned along the route of the East Leeds Link Road. It is located just minutes from Leeds city centre and the national motorway network.

With its unrivalled location and potential business benefits, the remaining enterprise zone sites offer excellent long term potential to attract major inward investment to the city

Its two large privately owned sites, Logic Leeds and Temple Green, are both scheduled for a start on infrastructure development in the New Year. A range of high tech and modern manufacturing users are being targeted for them and they and have been identified as being particularly suitable for the medical sector.

John Waters, Chief Executive of Watershed, said:

“Our expansion within the Aire Valley marks a really exciting time for Watersheds and by taking advantage of the enterprise zone benefits on offer we hope that the company will continue to grow.

“This larger manufacturing facility will enable us to expand our client portfolio, which in turn will lead to the creation of more jobs. We envisage that the expansion alone will create a further 40 jobs.”

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and the economy, said:

"It’s great to see a local company making the most of the opportunities provided by Aire Valley Leeds to expand its operations and create more jobs. This is exactly why the enterprise zone was set up and I look forward to seeing the final few plots snapped up by more investors.”

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership, said:

“We are delighted that work has started on site. It is important that our businesses access this intensive business support package and it is essential that we secure as many jobs and as much growth across our city region economy as possible. This is a win-win situation and to that effect we are working to ensure that the benefits of the enterprise zone are being promoted far and wide.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council-owned Thornes Farm is one of four sites that make up the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone: Newmarket Lane is 9.2 hectares (ha), Thornes Farm (21 ha), Logic Leeds (49 ha) and Temple Green (63 ha).

All have planning consent in place for a range of employment uses, including large-scale manufacturing, distribution and high quality offices.

Companies relocating to the enterprise zone benefit from reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period, plus simplified planning and an intensive business support package

Earlier this year, Leeds City Council agreed funding of £2.5 million to build a spine road to accelerate development of the Logic Leeds site and link it to surrounding residential communities. Plans to create an advanced medical park within the enterprise zone to build on Leeds’ strength in the healthcare sector are also under discussion.

Watershed Packaging is a leading provider of packaging machinery, packaging consumables, printed adhesive labels and printed flexible packaging. It is also one of the top five providers of manufactured printed adhesive tapes in the UK. Set up in 1993 the privately-owned company has three main production facilities based in Leeds, Blackwood and Beverley.

For media enquiries please contact:

Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk