MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council has acquired the CastleGate Business Park, in Caldicot, from Robert Hitchins Ltd.

Council leader Peter Fox said the £7 million deal would be financed by borrowing – the cost of which, he said, would be met by rental income and would not impact on the provision of council services.

The authority anticipates the investment will generate an annual return of seven per cent, in line with its asset investment policy.

The business park sits on a site of approximately 17 acres, and and contains 252,000 square feet of serviced accommodation, including office space, stores and workspace.

CastleGate is home to firms including Mitel Networks, Microsemi, and a host of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition is the latest move in the council’s development of its commercial portfolio. Other ventures include the establishment of a livestock market near Raglan, a solar farm in Crick, and commercial office accommodation for let on the Wales 1 Business Park, near Magor.

Commenting on the deal, Councillor Bob Greenland said: “I am delighted that we have been able to complete this deal.

“The acquisition helps take forward a number of our strategic goals and is a clear demonstration to investors nationally and internationally that Monmouthshire is a great place to do business.

“Being able to share this news so soon after Monmouthshire having been recognised as having the most vibrant economy in Wales is a great opportunity to demonstrate that we will not be resting on our laurels.

“Monmouthshire County Council has never been afraid to take a commercial approach, to innovate and be creative where it helps us promote the vitality of our county and this is a path that we will continue to follow.”

Simon Tothill, property and development director at Robert Hitchins Ltd, said: “Having implemented a successful asset management strategy over a number of years, CastleGate is close to full occupation and plays an important role in the local economy.

“The sale made sense and the council is well positioned to benefit from an attractive rental stream whilst investing in its own region. This sale fits with Robert Hitchins’ ongoing investment strategy with money released from this sale allowing us to reinvest in existing assets and new developments.”