New businesses have begun investing in Perth’s innovative Food and Drink Park, creating scores of jobs.
Perth and Kinross Council has offloaded four plots at the £1.8 million business estate in North Muirton.
It comes just months after the local authority announced it would open its doors to industries beyond the food and drink sector.
In December, councillors backed a site expansion which would see half the estate dedicated to “general” business use in order to meet demand from non-food groups.
Council papers have revealed that two sites have now gone to John Deere Forestry at a cost of around £350,000. The company intends to build new premises on the land.
Another two sites have been snapped up by Eastern Properties (Scotland) Ltd in a deal worth nearly £400,000.
Work began on the “unique” Food and Drink Park earlier this year. It had been hailed as the first business park dedicated to the Scottish food and drink sector.
A council spokeswoman said: “At 12 acres, the Perth Food and Drink Park is one of the largest in the UK and this has allowed us to look at opportunities to diversify the potential use of the site.
“Promotional activity from the Invest in Perth team has brought forward interest from companies requiring sites for general industrial and employment, and by considering this approach we are able to ensure businesses seeking to locate and grow in Perth can be accommodated.”
A report to councillors, put together by investment manager Serge Merone and interim head of economic development Tom Flanagan, states: “A planning advance notice is being progressed for strategic land of 10 acres to make it more attractive to investors.
“Twelve acres — 50% of the available 24 acres for the site – will now be marketed as general use to meet existing demand.
“This will still leave 12 acres for food and drink use, which is substantial compared to other food and drink parks across the UK.”
Last year, it was revealed that an £8.2 million plan to heat the business park with radical heat pump technology had been scrapped.
As a result, the “Eco-Innovation” hub building at the Food and Drink Park, which was due to house the carbon-free technology, will now be used for a “Future Factory” initiative that will create industrial and manufacturing space for environmental projects.