30 Jun 2021
Government urged to approve St Helens logistics schemes that would unlock 5,000 jobs & help level up the region
Plans for major employment developments which would unlock over 5,000 jobs across the North-West are currently waiting to be determined by the Secretary of State, after being called in over a year ago.
Following the Secretary of State’s approval of logistics schemes in the North West, the Government is now being urged to give the green light to other called-in developments that could unlock thousands of new jobs.
Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted the UK’s economy over the past year, a swathe of manufacturing and logistics planning applications for sites across St Helens remain undecided by the Government. At a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty, the approval of these schemes present an unmissable opportunity to unlock much-needed jobs and investment, supporting aspirations to boost prosperity and help level up the North.
The developments currently awaiting a decision include Peel L&P and PLP’s Haydock Point, the Parkside Colliery development and the Omega South expansion. Combined, these developments will deliver over 5,000 jobs at a time of critical importance as the North looks ahead to post-pandemic economic recovery.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of the logistics sector, which has been a key component in ensuring the delivery of food, vital goods and medicines over the past year. Logistics contributes over £130 billion Gross Value Added, amounting to over ten percent of the UK’s non-financial business economy. Logistics is a key growth sector and approval of these called-in and appealed schemes offers an opportunity to future-proof the local economy and support continued growth in the North West.
The Haydock Point application was first submitted to St Helens Council in 2017 and is set to be determined alongside its neighbouring schemes by the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP. Haydock Point would deliver 1.8 million sq ft of employment space, worth £159 million each year to the economy annually.
Once fully built, Haydock Point is expected to deliver in the region of 2,760 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs as well as a £100,000 apprenticeship fund, coupled with a £1 million investment into a dedicated bus service, connecting the development with communities and providing job opportunities to local people. The development also provides a unique offering of a £11.4 million private investment in improving the highway network around J23 of the M6, reducing wait times for businesses, visitors and residents.
Business groups have indicated their support for the developments, recognising the huge economic benefits that such schemes can deliver.
Tracy Mawson, St Helens Chamber Chief Executive, said: “As the industry leading body within St Helens, the Chamber has been monitoring the inquiry proceedings for the called-in logistics applications across the North West, and wishes to express its support for the developments proposed for St Helens, which would bring significant investment and employment opportunities to the Borough and the wider region.
“Within St Helens, Haydock and the M6 corridor are well-established areas for logistics and industrial development, located on a key north-south national route and centrally placed between Liverpool and Manchester, which is benefitting from ongoing investment in infrastructure across the region, including an enlarged Port of Liverpool.
“As such, I would urge the Government to approve Haydock Point and the surrounding developments in order to deliver investment and employment opportunities as the region’s economy seeks to bounce-back from Covid.”
Echoing this, Damian Waters, North West Director for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), added: “The Haydock Point proposals are incredibly exciting and have the potential to have a hugely positive impact on the regional economy.
“Businesses across the UK have suffered enormously since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the North West has been no exception. As we look ahead to the future, I am pleased to support the proposals to deliver a shovel-ready scheme which will bring thousands of employment opportunities and critical private sector funding to improve the safety and wait times at Junction 23 of the M6.”
Richard Knight, Director of Land & Communities at Peel L&P said: “Our proposals for Haydock Point would help meet a chronic shortage of large scale, oven-ready sites in the area, which will add vital logistics capacity at a time of sustained growth and investment in the Port of Liverpool and enable St Helens to capture well-paid jobs in the logistics sector.”
“Working with our development partner PLP, we’re ready to deliver these plans to prevent St Helens losing out on millions of pounds worth of investment and we hope the Government will see our plans as a significant opportunity to help kick-start the economy after the pandemic and tackle unemployment.”
More information about the project can be found online at www.haydockpoint.co.uk
It is anticipated that a wide range of social and economic benefits will arise from the developments. In summary, the three schemes will create the following number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs:
- Haydock Point - Up to 2,760 gross FTE jobs in the completed development.
- Omega South - An average of 1,103 FTE jobs associated with the detailed application.
- Parkside Colliery – 1,327 gross FTE jobs.
 Progress Planning Consultancy, ‘Planning Statement Update: Hybrid Planning Application Omega Zone 8, St Helens’, April 2020