There's growing interest in a major new industrial park development in Whanganui, as local businesses expand and out-of-towners move from larger centres to take advantage of lower business costs.
The Mill Road Industrial Park has seen around 12 hectares of land transformed into an industrial zone suitable for industrial, commercial and /manufacturing operations.
Business lead for regional economic development agency, Whanganui and Partners, Rhonda Morris said the new industrial park is already attracting keen interest with many keen to take advantage of lower business costs, and the slower pace of life in Whanganui.
"Operating costs in Whanganui are significantly lower than they are in bigger cities, but thanks to our central location and diverse economy, we have the same advantages as much bigger cities."
She said the development was exciting for the district.
"Expanding existing businesses and attracting new ones means more jobs for our residents, including many highly-skilled jobs. We’ll also see flow-on effects in industries like logistics and construction."
For many, the attraction was the quality of life for business owners, their families and staff.
"Our housing is affordable, our commutes are short, and we have access to amazing outdoor recreation opportunities and a vibrant, creative culture in our city. "
"We’ve had a lot of interest from industrial and commercial businesses at both local and national-level," she said.
One of those local businesses is Wight Aluminium, which has taken the opportunity to build a new and expanded premises at Mill Rd.
The build gives them space to bring in more staff and fill the contracts they have all around New Zealand.
"This is exactly the sort of growth we want to encourage in Whanganui and a good example of the high-performing businesses that can thrive here thanks to developments like Mill Rd," said Morris.
She said the land was open and flat, making it ideal to build on with four directional access points into state highways, rail, road and coastal shipping all within minutes from the site.
While there's been keen interest from Whanganui's business community, the development is proving attractive to those outside of the district, as land prices sky-rocket in the larger centres.
"There is a limited supply of industrial land in New Zealand, which puts pressure on prices. In Auckland, for instance, the Golden Mile is the last industry development available and land is selling for approximately $750 per square metre."
"At Mill Rd, land is available for around $120 per square metre."
"That sort of cost savings makes a difference to business owners, and we anticipate more and more interest from businesses headquartered in cities looking to expand or relocate."
Morris said Whanganui was already a great base for businesses and the new development would give existing businesses more room to grow as well as creating opportunity for new players to move in.
This article has been created for Whanganui and Partners.