Yorkshire and Humber set to attract significant inward investment and employment as businesses back £200m plans
A number of international companies have revealed their support today for the proposed Yorkshire Energy Park development including Almax, IBM, L&G Investment Management, SSE Utilities, ZTE, Vodafone, as well as local education providers Hull College.
The site earmarked for the project is a former aerodrome within the boundary of South Preston village, close to the Saltend BP plant, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The proposed £200 million Yorkshire Energy Park could create more than 1,000 jobs and generate a multi-million pound investment boost for the Yorkshire and Humber economy with every £1 invested expected to have an impact of £3 on the local economy from the construction phase alone.
Yorkshire-based developer Sewell and Eco Parks Developments Ltd have partnered with London based Chiltern, a national renewable energy, infrastructure and technology project facilitator, to deliver the proposed scheme.
The location benefits from the billions of pounds being invested in North Sea renewable energy generation and brings together low carbon energy generation and storage, education and training, and energy intensive industries, such as information technology and food processing, on a single large site, providing a business environment unique in the UK.
The site is currently owned by Hull City Council and the developers have been working in partnership with the Council to ensure that the project optimises economic development opportunities for the area whilst also recognising the ecological importance of the Eastern part of the site. Local sports and community facilities will also benefit from the investment by being relocated on site to new and improved accommodation.
Chris Turner, Chairman of the Yorkshire Energy Park project, said: “With the level of corporate backing already committed to this project, the Yorkshire Energy Park has the potential to provide a major economic, education and training boost to this region and create a project template for the UK’s low carbon industrial future, as set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper.”
Nick Toft, Head of Customer Acquisition at Vodafone UK Limited, confirmed the company’s interest in supporting the IT service and connectivity requirements of the development.
He said: “Vodafone look forward to working with the development team of the Yorkshire
Energy Park to provide leading technology and communication solutions.”
Bob Dowell, of ZTE UK Ltd, a multi-national telecommunications equipment and systems company, added: “ZTE are pleased to provide their endorsement for this project, which we regard as being of national significance. By bringing together low cost energy, energy security, education and technology on a single site, Yorkshire Energy Park will deliver a major socio-economic boost for the Humber region.
“ZTE look forward to playing a long term role in working with the Yorkshire Energy Park developers to provide state-of-the-art, transformational technology and telecommunications equipment for the project.”
Located in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, the strategic Yorkshire Energy Park site has the potential to generate major efficiencies and savings for occupiers, providing competitively-priced, resilient energy.
Easily accessible from the M62, by train, close to the Port of Hull and Humberside International Airport, it will bring together forward-thinking businesses from across the globe to create and deliver innovation alongside education and research.
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Economic Partnership (LEP), said: “This is a great day for the Humber. The Yorkshire Energy Park would further strengthen our position as the UK’s Energy Estuary, building on the success of the recent Siemens investment. The number of new jobs proposed is transformational and the level of private sector investment and community engagement already undertaken by the joint venture team, and their end users, is further tangible evidence that the Humber is an attractive proposition for investors.”
“There have been extensive and constructive discussions by all parties, including statutory agencies, on this important project. I am delighted that the planning application has now been submitted.”
Matt Jukes, Chief Executive, Hull City Council, adds: “We have been in discussions with the developers for some time to ensure that the development plans are robust and deliverable.
“The site is of key strategic importance and we are keen to maximise the positive impact that this scheme can have on wider economic development of the sub region.
“We are looking forward to working with the developer over the coming years to enable the full potential of the development to be realised.”
The support for the scheme comes as an outline planning application will be submitted this month and community information events have been organised to share the final proposals with the public.
Rob Cawkwell, Project Director from Sewell Investments, said: “This underutilised site is regionally unique in that it has the benefit of size and direct access to natural gas and electricity infrastructure.
“We have spent almost 1,000 hours listening to and briefing stakeholders, and taken on board the comments and points raised, which are clearly reflected in the outline planning submission.
“This third round of information events will demonstrate how much we have listened, as well as how previous events have informed the application.
“On the back of extensive community engagement, we have extended the green buffer zone by almost 50%. Over the life of the development, that area is protected such that we will never build on it and it will be reserved for birds and wildlife.
“We have also taken traffic management into account both on and off site, flood mitigation measures that will have a positive impact both on and off site and we are protecting the views of the churches in Hedon, Preston and Paull, referred to locally as the Three Sisters.
“Both strategically and technically, this scheme ticks all of the boxes and meets all of the requirements for the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper. We look forward to showing the final proposals to members of the public and other stakeholders.”
Two rounds of consultation sessions have already been held in Preston, Hedon, Paull and Thorngumbald as plans for the Yorkshire Energy Park develop.
Following introductory consultation events held in June last year, a further five drop-in sessions took place in October to share the latest proposals and answer any questions about the proposed development.
Subject to a successful planning application, work on the Yorkshire Energy Park could begin in early 2018. The application has been developed with support from a multi-disciplinary team led by GVA.
To find out more about the latest plans and meet the team, please visit one of the following drop-in sessions listed on the events page.