A BRADFORD developers is leading a project to build commercial and business units which will create 100 new jobs at the site of a shop destroyed by fire.

Marrtree Investments, which was founded in Bradford in the 1940s, has acquired the 2.4-acre site of the former B&M store at Clifton Moor in York, which was destroyed by a fire in October 2018. The blaze started in the storage yard of the store and no-one was injured in the incident.

The developer, which has a portfolio of more than 20 business parks located at strategic employment sites across the north of England, has plans to develop a commercial scheme including business units that could create up to 100 new jobs at the site in York.

Marrtree Investments, which purchased the site from London-based property investment firm New River, is set to submit a planning application to City of York Council and is taking a flexible approach to the development of the land.

William Marshall, director of Marrtree Investments, says it is looking forward to turning the site into business units, subject to planning consent.

He said: "We are clear that, subject to obtaining a satisfactory planning outcome on this site, the development will consist of very high quality business units that York can be proud of, and we’re looking forward to engaging with City of York planners to ensure the development will be of significant benefit to the city.

"This Clifton Moor site offers us a significant opportunity to develop the modern high-spec accommodation that is synonymous with Marrtree developments, and of which the York market is in short supply."

The York site is the latest project for Marrtree.

In February the business completed the first, £3 million, phase of a £5.5m Marrtree Business Park at Sowerby Gateway, the new 85-acre, 950-home development near Thirsk.

The 40,000 ft first phase has tenants, including Screwfix and Toolstation, signed up for nine of the 15 units and is expected to create 80 jobs when it is fully let. Phase II, consisting of 30,000 sq ft, is currently under consideration by planners at Hambleton District Council.

George Marshall, fellow Marrtree Investments director, said: “As a business we are all about creating employment hubs in the north of England, providing the kind of modern and high-quality space that people actively want to work in.

"Accessibility is also crucial and Clifton Moor is well located for road links, with dualling and other improvements planned for the outer ring road in the next couple of years.”

"As we emerge from the challenges of the pandemic and look to the future, it’s more important than ever that we ensure our new developments have longevity and create a built environment everyone can be proud of. That is what we plan to do here at Clifton Moor.”

Founded in Bradford, Marrtree Investments is now run by the third-generation brothers William and George Marshall, the Marrtree Group of companies has operated for more than 80 years. The business is now based in Harrogate.