Electricity Ashburton Ltd’s decision to move to the major industrial subdivision, Ashburton Business Estate (ABE) in mid-Canterbury, could not have come at a better time.
The electricity network is developing a 2.65ha site at ABE that will house its 100 staff in three buildings covering administration, a workshop, a stores building and open yard storage.
General manager Gordon Guthrie said the locally owned co-operative was originally attracted by the ability to house all its operations on one large site, as it is currently split between a town location and industrial area. Its workshop and administration centre is currently located in the heart of big box retail while the storage facility is in an older industrial area.
“The retail area has grown up around us and we don’t need to be here. We liked Ashburton Business Estate because it allowed us to be on one site, it has excellent transport access and it’s a safe site on the outskirts of town,” Guthrie said.
“We really feel as though our decision has been vindicated after seeing what happened in Christchurch following the earthquakes. We also reviewed our plans and are now building to Category 4, to ensure that we can operate in a major civil emergency.”
Electricity Ashburton expects building to be complete by October with its shift to ABE earmarked before Christmas.
It will be the second resident in Ashburton Business Estate, following Canterbury Longrun Roofing. Established in 1969, LongRun manufactures steel roofing, cladding and accessories for the building trade.
Marketing agents Noel Gilchrist and Brent Bailey of Colliers International in Christchurch are talking with several other parties eyeing ABE, and say that easy access to road, rail, sea and air transport networks is a key attraction.
* South Island main trunk rail line
* State Highway 1
* Christchurch International Airport
* Ashburton (Regional) Airport
* Timaru (Regional) Airport
* Lyttelton Port of Christchurch
* PrimePort Timaru.
Ashburton Business Estate, zoned B9, covers 123ha on land bounded by North Park and Company Rds, the Main South Railway Line and Works Rd in north east Ashburton. Stage One, comprising 54 hectares, has sites ranging from 1500m2 available to own or lease back.
“This development offers low land prices, as well as low water and rates costs. It is providing much needed commercial and industrial land. Proposals to relocate the Ashburton rail shunting yard from the middle of town to alongside here, will provide excellent rail access to the ports of Timaru and Lyttelton,” Gilchrist and Bailey said.
An Ashburton District Council initiative, the industrial park aims to establish and support new business in
the region as part of the Council’s vision for the future. Financially it is the largest project undertaken by the council, with a $20 million price tag.
* Ashburton is the second fastest growing economy in Canterbury.
* Dairy cow numbers have increased five-fold over the past 15 years.
* Ashburton has the highest percentage of irrigated plains-land of any district in New Zealand.
* While many specialist crops and seeds are nowadays grown outside the boundaries of Ashburton District itself, to a large degree the production from these other districts is carted, processed and packaged for export by businesses based in the town.
* Farm servicing businesses exist on a large scale, including Drummond & Etheridge, Gluyas Motors, Carr Group, etc, providing reliable and skilled workers to enable farm plant and machinery to be serviced within the tight timeframes of the various seasons.
* Large processing companies such as Talleys, Canterbury Meat Packers, Silver Fern Farms and Five Star Beef have all chosen Ashburton District as their base, attracted by quick and easy access to markets via rail, road, air or sea, as well as being centrally located to gather the base production required to supply their plants.
* This information is taken from a report prepared for Ashburton Business Estate by Registered Public Valuer R. L. (Bob) Engelbrecht.