A NEW £2m business park in Farnworth is finally set to open following several delays due to the pandemic.

Stone Hill Business Park, off Stone Hill Road, was initially expected to open in December, and then February, with the development delayed due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, entrepreneur Asad Shamim, who runs Bolton-based Furniture In Fashion, said that he hoped it would finally be open by Thursday, July 1.

The park is aimed primarily at online business, which can use the spaces for office work, storage and organising deliveries.

And Asad said there had been a surge in demand for units at the park, as businesses seek to enhance their digital presence.

He said: “There has been a surge in demand for the units.

“Businesses are pumping millions of pounds into the e-commerce industry and so many people are wanting to get in on it.

“We were let down by some builders while the park was being built and that also led to delays, but I am happy that it is finally going to open.”

Dozens of businesses have expressed an interest in the site, which is creating a boost for jobs in the area as cleaning, maintenance, and security staff are all required.

Just over £2m has been invested into the business park, according to its backers.

Varying in size, the units will be able to accommodate a variety of businesses from small start-ups to established brands.

Estate agents Lamb and Swift are dealing with the enquiries from prospective tenants.

Asad added that Furniture in Fashion was doing well at the minute, but he feared for some businesses as import prices rise.

He said: “A few months ago, shipping containers bringing in goods and products were around two-and-a-half thousand pounds. That price now stands at fourteen thousand pounds.

“This obviously will affect the customer so they will see price rises or a shortage if businesses choose not to stock certain things. There’s a lot going on at the minute but it is something that really needs to be looked at and sorted out.”