Future plans focus on leisure, says owner

The owner of a rural business park has revealed that future development plans for the site will be centred around the leisure industry.

Charlie Forbes-Adam - owner of Escrick Business Park

Charlie Forbes-Adam, who developed Escrick Business Park on his family’s estate between York and Selby, said he was considering adding a farm shop and a cafe to the estate’s holiday park.

He is also developing the events side of the business for weddings, corporate events and rallies.

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The business park, which is home to a car mechanic, wedding dress maker, beehive maker and car parts distributor, among others, is almost fully let, with just one vacant unit out of 39. There are currently 120 people working there.

Two and a half years ago, the largest tenant, a US logistics firm, collapsed.

Unable to re-let it, Mr Forbes-Adams decided to spend £140,000 and convert the unit into three houses instead, which were immediately let.

“We’ve had to cut our cloth in terms of rentals but we’ve never been less than 80 per cent full at the business park,” he said. “The sites are well positioned in an attractive location so we’ve managed to keep going when others have struggled.”

Mr Forbes-Adam said there were no plans to expand the business park. “I would be very wary about converting any more farm buildings into commercial space, it’s still a very soft market,” he said. “I’d be more likely to look at more residential.”

In 2007, Mr Forbes-Adam received planning permission for a 15,00 sq ft farm shop, a plan which has since been reduced to 5,000 sq ft. He is also considering converting an airstream caravan into a cafe, which would serve the estate’s holiday park and local community. The Escrick estate has been owned and managed by the Forbes Adam family for the past 350 years.