Enterprise zone moves forward

By Lancashire Business View

03 Aug 2017

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Global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott Macdonald has been appointed to prepare a detailed masterplan for the Wyre enterprise zone.

It will be followed by a consultation process which is set to be completed later this summer.

In the meantime potential Chinese investors recently made their second trip to the 138 hectare site at Thornton Cleveleys.

And the hope is that a Joint Venture will result between the Chinese and NPL Estates, the principal land owners and developers of the site that will deliver a new gas-fired power station.

This potential £600m investment could create some 2,000 jobs during the construction phase with 100 or so full-time workers once the station is switched on.

NPL is taking a leading role in developing the enterprise zone, working closely with Wyre Council, which also met with the Chinese delegation, and the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company.

Simon Towers, group managing director at NPL, said: “We are heading in the right direction.”

He also points to a number of energy companies now working from the site and adds: “The masterplan will release land for manufacturing.”

The aim is for the zone to be energy self-sufficient, which coupled with a ‘design and build’ service, is looking to tempt manufacturers to choose Hillhouse above other sites in the North West for their operations.

He said: “The idea is that someone comes to us and says they want some land to build a factory. We’ll ask them what they need and put it up for them. All they have to do is turn up, sign the lease, plug in, and away they go.”

He says that a number of projects are now going into the planning system and he expects to see them coming out of the ground over the next six to 18 months.

A fuller version of this article can be read in the current print issue of Lancashire Business View. Subscribe now.

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