£1.5m deal keeps 150 jobs in town

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, Dean Westmoreland of Omar Park Homes and David Bowman from Forest Heath District Council
James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, Dean Westmoreland of Omar Park Homes and David Bowman from Forest Heath District Council
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THE jobs of 150 people at a long-standing firm have been secured after a £1.4million deal was struck.

Forest Heath District Council has bought the freehold of Omar Park Home’s 13.5 acre site in Brandon and will lease the land back to the park homes builder for ten years.

Cllr James Waters, leader, praised the deal which will see the council pocket £200,000 a year in rent - a 14 per cent return.

“It’s a terrific win/win for people in Forest Heath and I am delighted to reach this agreement with Omar.

“We are committed to supporting businesses in our district and this opportunity not only maintains jobs in Brandon but also benefits all Council Tax payers in the district because we’re getting a much better return on our investment than we currently get from the bank,” he said.

Omar Park Homes also welcomed the news, which will keep the company in the London Road location it has occupied since 1975.

Dean Westmoreland, chief executive, said: “We are proud of our long-standing association with Brandon and are very pleased that Forest Heath District Council understood the opportunity of buying our current site as an excellent investment.

“We have an outstanding workforce who are celebrating 50 years of Omar this year, we have had 20 per cent sales growth in the last 12 months and are well set to continue to contribute significantly to the local economy.”

The deal ends speculation that Omar Park Homes might leave Brandon.

Paul Pleszko, Omar Park Homes chairman, was delighted with the news.

He said: “I have personally worked on the site here at Brandon for 35 years and feel a close personal affinity with this location and the local people that make Omar such a fantastic business so I am extremely pleased we have secured our future here.”

Forest Heath was recently ranked number one in the country for ‘business champions’ in an Experian report.

___Business champions show ‘entrepreneurial skill, appetite for business risk and real international outlook’, according to Experian.