WORK has begun on bringing two major businesses to Forfar which will give the town a significant jobs boost.
Preparatory work is being undertaken at Orchardbank Business Park to get sites ready for fast food giants KFC and family restaurant Marston’s to move in.
Once an access road and associated works are completed, construction on the businesses’ new premises will begin in spring with both hoping to be up and running before Christmas.
This represents an investment of more than £5 million in the town, and will create an estimated 80 jobs.
Orchardbank Business Park was developed by Angus Council, in partnership with the Muir Group.
And the authority’s economic development spokeswoman, Councillor Mairi Evans, welcomed the news of further development at the park. She said: “I am delighted to welcome two international brands to Angus.
“This will bring local jobs to the area, boost the economy, provide residents and visitors with more facilities, and raise the profile of the park to other potential tenants.
“We continue to strongly market the park. In particular, the council is keen to bring more local businesses and a hotel to the site, and the news that KFC and Marston’s are moving here, make it a far more attractive and feasible option for operators.”
An application was first submitted to Angus Council for approval in early 2012. However, the chain said in 2011 that it had plans to move to the town. Permission was granted in February 2012 with conditional approval.
The restaurant, which will be sited just across from McDonalds, will also have a drive-through and parking spaces.
While a petition was raised against the operators of the KFC restaurant in regards to animal welfare, Angus Council felt that this was not a planning consideration.
A spokesperson for KFC said: “We are delighted to confirm that we will be opening a new drive-through restaurant in Forfar in late 2013. The restaurant will create approximately 40 career opportunities in the local community, and we look forward to welcoming residents when we open.”
The plans for the Marston’s building were approved in October last year and as well as the restaurant there will also be a licensed bar and associated living accommodation.
At the time, Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: “The proposed site plan also provides for 54 parking spaces (three of which are for disabled use), a cycle shed, a children’s play area, a terrace, grassed areas and some tree planting.
“The building itself is predominantly occupied by seating areas for diners but there is a small bar, play area, toilets, a kitchen and plant rooms.
“The associated residential accommodation is proposed at first floor level and comprises three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom.
“A small office and two small bathrooms are also proposed here.”
At present Marston’s operate around 2,150 pubs and bars mostly in England and Wales but are now expanding north of the border. Of these properties there are around 1,650 tenanted or leased pubs and around 500 managed pubs at the heart of thriving local communities – of which 40 are hotels.
Isobel Ross, Forfar community council chairman, said: “I think anything that brings jobs to the town is a good thing.
“Hopefully this will be a benefit to local people.
“In the first instance I hope this brings jobs to the building trade and then following on from that there will be ample opportunity for employment.”
Approximately 20 acres of development land remain at the park, and the council’s economic development would be happy to speak to any prospective occupiers. For more information call 01307 473199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org