A Devon council has been given £3.5m to buy a parcel of land which authorities say could help generate hundreds of jobs.

An unnamed local company wants to set up warehousing, storage and engineering space on the 19.5-acre (7.9-hectare) site in the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport area near Sherford, said Plymouth City Council.

The local authority, which is giving South Hams District Council the money to buy the land, said it “could create a base for hundreds of skilled jobs”.

The Sherford site is one of three sites which would be exempt from goods taxes within the freeport’s jurisdiction.

Two other tax exempt sites within the freeport have also received seed funding.

The city council has allocated £4m to the freeport’s largest site at Beaumont Way in Langage and £1.3m for Millbay Docks in Plymouth.

The local authority was given nearly £20m for the freeport by the from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Levelling Up in November.

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This decision will help speed up the ground and preparation work needed on this allocated freeport site to get it ready for development.

“In a nutshell, this means more jobs will be available sooner.”

The land near Sherford is currently owned by the Sherford Consortium, a partnership between award-winning national housebuilders, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Group.

The freeport authority said it would unlock millions of pounds in funding and create 3,500 jobs, mainly in maritime and defence industries.

Original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cd1me2vmpd9o.