WORK on Model Farm enterprise park could start within the next year after the council approved £7.07 million of funding over the next two years.

It is hoped that the site positioned to the east of Ross-on-Wye in the Hildersley area could deliver commercial business developments accommodating over 1,000 jobs.

As part of its capital programme Herefordshire Council has included £2.52m funding this financial year, £4.25m funding in 2018/19 and £300k in 2019/20 making a total capital investment of £7.07m.

Plans are set to be considered next month by the planning committee for a hybrid planning application proposed for six development areas including business, general, and storage and distribution use. The plans include full details of the access, internal road infrastructure and circulation routes, and landscaping within a landscape buffer zone providing surface water attenuation and planting.

Cllr David Harlow, cabinet member economy and communications said that if planning is consented work could start this year.

He said: "Part of the reason for us wanting to make the investment in Model Farm is the success of the Enterprise Zone and the jobs that have been created.

"The number of economically active people in Herefordshire is at a record level. This endorses the need for Model Farm and the success of Enterprise Zone. There are two aspects to the development, there is housing and employment. We are aiming to bring those forward as rapidly as we can and to start work on site within the next 12 months.

"So it's all excellent news economically."

Cllr Bob Matthews thinks that the site is perfectly positioned close to the motorway network to attract businesses.

He added: "This business investment is urgently required. I feel that the fact it is being built alongside a solid infrastructure will mean the businesses will fly in as fast as we can build.

"I have got a lot of hopes for this business park and it should be built into production as soon as possible."