The Ballarat West Employment Zone is continuing to take shape as more projects begin construction.
Last month, signs were erected across the site, pointing out where tenants will one day build facilities, and where land is still available.
It followed the $5 million commitment from the federal government to extend the Ballarat airport's main runway, which the City of Ballarat, and Regional Development Victoria, say will unlock tens of millions in new investment.
However, more work will be needed to realign the main road connection to the airport, while additional funding will be needed to strengthen the runway and enable different planes to land.
In the meantime, BWEZ stage two is under way, with a focus on aviation businesses, including potentially maintenance and training.
According to the state government, 55 hectares out of the 72 hectare stage 1 and 1B have been sold or are subject to expressions of interest, with negotiations continuing for the remaining land.
It is expected that the sales to date will result in $300 million of private investment and the employment of 500 people.
A Regional Development Victoria spokesperson said in a statement the entire project is "on track with no delays".
"The Victorian Government has invested $25 million for BWEZ stages 1 and 1b and we will continue to work with the site's owner, the City of Ballarat, to explore opportunities for future stages," they said.
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The state government has supported the development of airport aprons and sites activating business opportunities in stage two consistent with BWEZ.
In time, as well as existing businesses like CHS Broadbent, Westlab, KANE Transport, and Agrimac, newcomers like Cervus Equipment, Officevision, Athlegen, and Finlay Engineering all have spaces at the precinct.
Work on some projects has begun rapidly, though at least one business will pause works due to the coronavirus.
However, Luv-A-Duck chief executive James Thompson reiterated work will be completed on the $20 million value-add facility the company is building.
"Works are still continuing onsite, to complete steel framework, roofing concrete wall paneling and perimeter security fencing. These are scheduled to complete around August 15," he said in a statement.
"The project will be put into hibernation while we continue to monitor business operating conditions. We would be hopeful of recommencing works in the new year, if not earlier if economic conditions permit."
No businesses have pulled out of the project yet, and it's understood most have five years after purchasing land to begin work.
The City of Ballarat's development and planning director, Angelique Lush, said in a statement council is "very happy" with progress and sales so far.
"As project partners, City of Ballarat officers continue to be engaged in the development of the BWEZ. Formal input into stage two will take place through the Subdivision Planning Application process," she said.
"Council continues to actively pursue all potential funding opportunities for the BWEZ catalyst projects, including (the All Waste Interchange, research hub, and potential waste-to-energy projects)."
There was no confirmed date for work to begin on the runway extension, but Ms Lush said council understands the importance of construction during the pandemic crisis and economic recovery, and "will move as quickly as possible to advance the project".
"The confirmation of funding was key to having the project move forward," she said.
"We can now undertake the detailed design and consultation to prepare for construction.
"Details of the project timing will be confirmed once the tender for construction is finalised."
Another important part of BWEZ is the intermodal freight hub, which will connect trucks from the Western Freeway to the Ballarat rail line to make freight services easier.
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Land has been reserved to the south of the precinct, and expressions of interest closed in March.
It's understood a shortlist of suitable candidates has been identified, and the process has entered its next stage to find the best developer and operators.
Council directed enquiries on the intermodal freight hub to Regional Development Victoria.
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