More than 60 new jobs are being created after a businessman secured a £3 million deal for two prominent buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Warwickshire entrepreneur Peter Warwick has bought two buildings on the corner of Arden Street and Birmingham Road from NFU Mutual.
At the same time he has let one of the properties – Avon House – to Apex Credit Management, which will move its 170 staff to the new headquarters but is looking to recruit 60 more employees by the end of the year.
Mr Warwick has spent eight years buying up properties at the junction through commercial property agency Bromwich Hardy and this latest double deal means he now has enough to embark on a major project.
He said: “This is a great deal for the town. Apex is a growing company which may well have been tempted to seek a base elsewhere had we not been able to provide a new home.
“But in a wider context it gives the town a once-in-a-generation chance to create a really world class gateway. It is a key strategic site which marks the entrance to the town centre and it does not give the right impression.
“This acquisition will allow me to sit down with our planning consultants, the council and the World Class Stratford team to plan what could be here.
“I certainly think there is scope for homes, offices and a boutique hotel. While Stratford is renowned for its hospitality, I feel it lacks a true boutique hotel which can offer something very different.
“It has taken me since 2001 to assemble the property which will allow me to do this, but it also has to be right for the town.
“With the prominence of the site I am confident the council and other parties want to work together to create something which is truly a landmark development.”
Mr Warwick’s companies now own eight properties at the intersection. He is hoping to submit a detailed planning application later this year or early in 2010.
Apex Credit Management, which provides credit management services to the financial services sector, is currently based in Elm Court in the town.
Chief executive Neil Clyne said Mr Warwick’s plans will be positive for the surrounding community.
Mr Clyne added: “Without his intervention and support there is little doubt we would have had to look beyond Stratford-on-Avon to accommodate our growth plans; as it is we can now look forward to expansion, recruiting around 60 extra staff immediately without the need to look elsewhere.
“These are only our immediate plans, our longer growth plans will see even more jobs created and our new office provides the space to make this a reality”.