Levy board to stay at Stoneleigh

The go-ahead has been given for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board to set up permanent offices at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

Government approval for the levy board’s preferred option of staying at Stoneleigh Park was confirmed on Tuesday (8 March).

AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor said the current five buildings would now be reduced to two joined by a walkway.

Mr Taylor said the end was now in sight for an epic journey that started when AHDB first became operational in April 2008.

“When I told our employees this morning I said: ‘This is the news you never thought you would hear’, because it really has felt like that for them.”

Approval means that AHDB is now free to negotiate the detail of an outline lease deal already discussed.

Mr Taylor suggested a solution meant it would be easier to recruit and retain good staff, as well as delivering cost savings expected by levypayers.

“The biggest frustration and time commitment in all this has been all the hoops we have been made to jump through,” he said.

“Now for the first time, the decisions from here on in are within our own control.”

The go-ahead ends months of uncertainty after government cuts ended AHDB plans to build new offices at Stoneleigh Park.

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