A major development for an expanding farm shop and event catering business at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire has hit a high point.

The extensive refurbishment of a two-storey building to create a significantly bigger home for Farmers Fayre has reached the topping-out phase with the installation of an innovative environmentally-friendly roof.

Less obtrusive solar roof tiles have been fitted as an alternative to the more traditional solar panels, as part of Stoneleigh Park’s commitment to green credentials.

Jeremy Wright MP, whose Kenilworth and Southam constituency includes Stoneleigh Park, joined Nicola and Michael Reece, the directors of Farmers Fayre, for the topping out.

The MP said: “Farmers Fayre is a well-loved brand in this part of Warwickshire and it is great to see the business expanding into what I am sure will be an impressive new base which will hopefully attract even more custom.

“The vision for Stoneleigh Park is to be a centre of agricultural and rural excellence and it is good to see the on-going developments here as part of the transformation of the site.  I think there is huge potential here.”

The move will increase the size of Farmers Fayre’s existing premises at Stoneleigh Park from 1,500 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft, enabling expansion as well as food preparation, production and storage facilities to be brought under the same roof.

It will house 2,000 sq ft of retail space alongside a 50-seater restaurant with capacity for an additional 100 outdoors.  Three meeting and function rooms will be available for hire including for hospitality for on-site events such as national equestrian championships with views overlooking the grand ring.

Nicola said: “We are due to move into the new building in October and are already being inundated with bookings for our meeting and function rooms which highlights the scope that we have as a business.

“The topping out marks a real turning point.  We are now looking forward to seeing the exterior of the building being covered in burnt larch cladding.  It’s been really important to us to keep the look and feel of the farm shop as authentic and natural as possible.”

The project is the biggest refurbishment so far undertaken by LaSalle Investment Management as part of its on-going revitalisation of Stoneleigh Park. Warwickshire-based JW Contracts is carrying out the work.

Colin Hooper, estates director at Stoneleigh Park, said: “We are delighted to be bringing a redundant building back to life to house a thriving business that had outgrown its premises here.

“As well as being committed to supporting the development of businesses here, LaSalle is dedicated to sustainable development and this is demonstrated with the installation of a solar panel roof.

“We believe there are very few examples in the UK at the present time of solar panels that are integrated into the roof tile being used in commercial premises.”