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Sheffield City Region partners collaborate for key Regional Growth Fund Infrastructure Investment bid

posted 22 Jun 2012, 07:53 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Jun 2012, 07:55 ]
Public and private sector partners from across the Sheffield City Region have come together in an innovative project to accelerate the development of the region’s Enterprise Zone (EZ) and boost investment and job creation. 

Harworth Estates, Henry Boot Developments, Sheffield Business Park Ltd, Peel Holdings and Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) – the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, with the support of local authorities in Bolsover, Chesterfield and Sheffield, Derbyshire County Council and the local Chambers of Commerce are bidding into the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to deliver key infrastructure works and unlock over £92 million of private sector investment.

Three components of the recently announced Sheffield City Region EZ; Phase 2 of the Sheffield Business Park, Waverley including the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, and Markham Vale to the north east of Chesterfield are included in the proposal.

At Sheffield Business Park RGF will bring forward the creation of new development platforms, structural landscaping and site access and services to more than double the Park’s existing high quality business floor space. 

At Waverley, the project would support construction of a new improved road junction and additional ground works to accelerate development of a 280 hectare (692 acre) former UK Coal site. The funding for Markham Vale would provide highway infrastructure to open up the next phase, 33 hectares of industrial land and upgrade the superfast broadband provision. 

In addition the project would support works to key junctions on the local strategic road network that improve access for heavy and oversized loads from the Sheffield and Rotherham EZ locations to the motorway network, thereby increasing the investment potential of the EZ for manufacturing companies.

Initial estimates indicate that over 5,000 jobs will be created with support from the project including both construction employment followed by modern manufacturing jobs and a range of support roles.

Iain Taylor, Partnerships Director, of Peel Holdings commented on the partnership working which has brought the project together, saying; “We have been delighted by the support from all the partners and the backing of the Sheffield City Region LEP. 

“This is a bold, ambitious response to the economic situation driven by the private sector, which now seeks government support to accelerate development of these key Enterprise Zone sites.”

Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development at Rotherham Council adds; “There is already clear evidence that businesses see the advantages of locating in the Sheffield City Region and are looking to invest. It is critical to ensure that we have a supply of serviced sites available at good quality locations to satisfy both the current and future demand from these requirements. 

“With the assistance sought through this project, the region’s EZ sites will offer a complete solution, ready to deliver growth and jobs.”

The proposed funding is regarded as highly important for the success of the projects. Analysis shows that the proposed Sheffield Business Park and Waverley projects are viable over the medium term once momentum has been established and land sales or development values are achieved. RGF support will provide loans to enable the projects to be kick started. For Markham Vale a RGF grant will accelerate the delivery of the final phase of the project and the sustainable job creation associated with it.

The project proposals were submitted to the Government on 13th June. The project will now be assessed by an Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, over the summer.