The new Houlton development is already having a positive impact on the Rugby economy and that is only going to increase, business leaders have heard.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Rugby branch held its latest committee meeting at the Visitor Centre at Houlton where over 140 homes are now occupied and first primary school has been opened.
The Urban & Civic development – on the former Rugby Radio Station site – will eventually see 6,200 homes built, three primary schools, a secondary school, a district centre, a GP surgery, community facilities and open spaces.
Sixteen hectares have also been set aside for employment space including small industrial and office accommodation, which the Chamber has been campaigning for right across the region.
Several local companies have already played a part in the scheme and a new £35 million link road, which will be ready in July, will help to drive residents into the town centre.
The branch event heard from Urban & Civic’s Joh Thomas, who said houses at the development were selling well.
The meeting was also given updates from Rich Warren, the new operations director at Rugby First; from Warwickshire County Council’s Melanie Adekale on health and wellbeing; and the Chamber’s Lizzie Mara on the work the organisation is doing to bring schools and business together.
Karen Shuter, the chair of the Chamber’s Rugby branch, said: “The sheer size and scale of Houlton is incredible and to see the first elements taking shape is fantastic.
“The Tuning Fork, the award- winning eatery on-site, is already trading extremely well, more than 140 families are now living there and the first school is open.
“It is great that local businesses have played a part and Joh Thomas, of Urban & Civic, said the company will look to do even more with firms in the borough where they can.
“That fits perfectly with the Chamber’s Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign which is encouraging more businesses to work together across the Coventry and Warwickshire region.
“We are all keen to see Houlton have a positive impact on the town and the new link road should encourage more people to visit the town centre and we also heard how Rich Warren and the Rugby First team intend to make it an even more attractive place to go with events and leisure, rather than just retail.
“It was great that we could bring so many different people together at the meeting and hear about some key developments that will affect everyone in Rugby and the surrounding borough.”