CONSTRUCTION has started on a new 35,252 square foot production facility at a prominent Purbeck employment site.

Norco GRP, a Dorset firm specialising in the development of lightweight composite structures and mouldings, has bought a 2.09 acre plot at Dorset Innovation Park, near Wool.

Dorset Innovation Park is an Enterprise Zone, which provides businesses with financial incentives in the first five years of their occupation.

Jim Stewart, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which oversees the strategic development of the Enterprise Zone, welcomed Norco GRP.

He said: “We are thrilled that Norco GRP has chosen Dorset Innovation Park to quickly establish and grow.

"Having such an innovative company expanding at Dorset Innovation Park is really meeting the strategic objectives of Dorset LEP to create an advanced engineering and manufacturing cluster of excellence at the Enterprise Zone."

Meanwhile, Mark Northey, managing director of Norco GRP, said: “The Dorset Innovation Park offered us the welcome opportunity to continue to grow our business in Dorset.

"The site is secure with perimeter fencing, security gatehouse and 24/7 access, which are requirements from our customers.

“In addition to the creation of skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs and multiple opportunities right across the supply chain, the project will also help raise the profile of Dorset and showcase the strategic nature of the county with its defence manufacturing links."

Norco GRP will join 23 other organisations employing 651 people currently based at Dorset Innovation Park, which targets companies in the marine, defence, energy and cyber security sectors.

Dorset Council chief executive Matt Prosser said: “It is fantastic for Dorset to have such a strong, home-grown company moving onto Dorset Innovation Park.

"It will create highly skilled jobs for our young people who will be able to stay in Dorset and thrive."