Leicester Food Park will attract new start-up businesses, provide space for existing food and drink businesses to grow, and create dozens of new jobs.
Its three steel-framed buildings – developed close to a business park off Lewisher Road – house nine high-quality units, ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft.
A number of tenants have already been welcomed to the site, including Alassala Ltd, a producer of Moroccan argan oil products, Colombian coffee merchant Shelton's Coffee, premium instant tea maker Royaltea and twin-tub sauce specialist Jibby Ltd.
The remaining units are all under offer and a waiting list is in operation.
Commissioned by Leicester City Council, the Food Park will be managed by the East Midlands Chamber.
Sir Peter said: “Smaller food and drink businesses have been waiting for a specialist facility like this for years so I am very pleased that we have been able to deliver this high-quality scheme.
“We want to cement Leicester’s position as a place where food and drink businesses can set up and thrive – and this significant investment will also ensure that dozens of new jobs are created in this part of north-east Leicester.
“I was delighted to officially open the park and welcome its first tenants.”
Chamber Chief executive George Cowcher added: “The food and drink sector has a strong capacity to grow and this fabulous new facility will play a key role in helping the sector to develop by giving start-up firms the opportunity to take on their own premises, and existing firms the ability to upscale.
“From an inward investment point of view, it also has the potential to attract firms from outside of the East Midlands to set up and do business in Leicester. I think the response from potential tenants and the fact we have filled the units so quickly shows just how much demand there is for a facility like this.”
The East Midlands Food and Drink Forum – a not-for-profit organisation that supports the local food industry – will be on-site, providing technical and business assistance to the Food Park tenants, while working with the council to support the wider food and drink sector across the city.
The project was financed with £3.4m from the European Regional Development Fund, with the city council contributing a further £2.4m