One of the most significant industrial developments in the East Midlands of the last 40 years has been okayed by planners.

SmartParc’s £300m food production hub in Derby could lead to the creation of 5,000 jobs and the 2.4million sqm facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

The 155-acre site, located just to the east of Derby, was formerly The Celanese Acetate production facility which ceased production in 2012 and the new investment represents the biggest in the area since the Toyota car production plant in 1989.

Scott Knowles, chief executive, East Midlands Chamber said: “SmartParc will have a transformative effect on the Derby economy, creating employment and investment opportunities for the city. SmartParc will put Derby on the map as a food and drink manufacturing hub of national and international significance.”

The development, which benefitted from a £12m grant from the government’s Get Building Fund via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, will incorporate state-of-the-art food growing facilities plus spaces for manufacturing start-ups.

An artist’s impression of the entrance to SmartParc’s proposed food production mega hub

Earlier this year, when the planning application was submitted, SmartParc CEO Jackie Wild said: “We are delighted to take another step forward in our plans to put Derby at the heart of the UK’s future in sustainable, efficient food manufacturing. We are liaising closely with local residents and stakeholders to ensure their views are incorporated in our plans to regenerate the site and exploring SME business and University partnerships to bring our collaborative next-generation sustainable food ecosystem to life.

“We are proud to be partnering with D2N2 and the City Council to reenergise the local region.”