One of the region’s biggest and most significant regeneration projects is already having a positive impact – even before a spade has been put in the ground to build it.
Parkside Development – a £100m joint venture between St Helens Borough Council and Langtree – will see a derelict former colliery site in Newton-le-Willows transformed into a ‘major economic powerhouse’ – with the first phase alone resulting in 93,000 square metres of new employment space, which has the potential to create more than 1,300 new jobs offering a variety of skills.
Being a key part of the Liverpool City Region Freeport and the largest of its three ‘tax and customs sites’ – Parkside represents an incredible opportunity to attract inward investment, strengthening the role that St Helens Borough plays in the region’s position as an attractive location for global trade and innovation.
At a cabinet meeting in St Helens Town Hall, senior councillors were presented with the Parkside Development LLP Joint Venture Annual Report, highlighting key milestones achieved to date including:
- Increased power supply secured and creation of Sustainability Strategy to support net zero ambitions
- Phase 1 Reserved Matters application scheduled for determination early in the New Year
- 28 school visits from the professional team, engaging over 600 young people in a ‘learning to work’ programme
- Commitment to award contracts to local suppliers with expressions of interest received from over 100 local businesses
- Positive establishment of Parkside Community Forum
Meanwhile, an ongoing project to construct a link road that connects the Parkside site to Junction 22 of the M6 motorway has also led to a number of employment opportunities for local residents, as well as apprenticeship and traineeship roles in a variety of different positions such as engineers, project managers, surveyors, landscape design and administration with contractor, Balfour Beatty.
Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “Parkside will be one of the biggest employment developments our borough has seen for many years and it’s great to see the positive progress made so far on what is a complex programme and challenging site given its historic use. With construction works for the high-quality Phase 1 development set to commence on site in 2024 the extensive benefits of Parkside, which will be a major economic powerhouse, are now in touching distance.”
Councillor Kate Groucutt, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Business and Skills, added: “When it comes to any kind of regeneration and development, the securing of social value outcomes is what we as a council expect to be at the forefront and I’m delighted to see this is the case at all stages of the Parkside development – from providing employment, training and skills opportunities to local residents, keeping money in the local economy by awarding contracts, where possible, to borough-based suppliers, and raising the aspirations of children. The attention to detail on matters of design quality, including environmental credentials, is also market-leading.”
John Downes, Group Chief Executive at Langtree and Chairman of Parkside Regeneration, said: “From the very outset we made a promise that we will work with our local businesses to give them every possible opportunity to bid for work on the site. I began my career at Parkside as a 16-year-old and I want it to become a genuine force for change in the local economy. Our partnership with the council and with the St Helens Chamber of Commerce is the most far-reaching I’ve ever seen in this regard.”
The whole Parkside Development is a multi-phased programme, with Parkside Link Road expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and first occupation of Phase 1 development scheduled for winter 2025.
For more information, visit www.thisisparkside.co.uk