Wednesday, April 23, 2014

News: £10.95m confirmed for Waverley

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Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed £10.95m in government funding to unlock development and thousands of jobs on the £100m Waverley site in Rotherham.

As part of the regeneration of the brownfield site, which includes a new community of 4,000 houses, land owner and developer, Harworth Estates hope that Waverley will create around 7,000 new jobs and contribute over £1 billion to the local economy as it is built out over the next 20 years.

The loan funding has come from the Local Infrastructure Fund, which is managed by the Homes and Communities Agency and accelerates the delivery of the infrastructure needed to boost Enterprise Zone schemes and accelerate large-scale housing developments. £10.95m will be used to provide infrastructure – including foul sewerage and drainage - at Waverley for the Advanced Manufacturing Park's (AMP's) remaining 68 acres of commercial development and 160 acres of housing development.

Already home to world-class manufacturers like Rolls-Royce and The University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing (pictured), the AMP will eventually employ 3,500 workers – with 300 of those new jobs expected onsite by 2015.

Duncan Armstrong-Payne, development manager for Harworth Estates, said: "This funding is vital in accelerating the transformation of Waverley into Yorkshire's largest-ever sustainable mixed use development. We're proud of what Waverley has already become and this will make the development to go from strength to strength for the benefit of Rotherham and the wider Sheffield City Region."

The AMP is a key part of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Enterprise Zone were companies are benefiting from simplified planning rules and tax breaks for businesses. One of the main benefits that the zones offer is a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period.

One of only six zones in England able to offer enhanced capital allowances, companies within the SCR zone could also take advantage of 100% enhanced capital allowances to firms making significant investments in plant and machinery.

Having been shortlisted for funding last year, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was in the region to confirm the money. He said: "This enterprise zone is a great example of how our economic plan is rebalancing the economy and transforming once dormant industrial sites into job creators once again.

"Today's cash injection will help the enterprise zone pull in over three times as much in private sector investment, giving it the essential foundations to grow, create jobs for local people and continue the area's proud manufacturing tradition.

"The government is investing to ensure that all enterprise zones can complete critical "nuts and bolts" infrastructure work that is needed to turn old industrial sites into prime economic land that can attract new businesses and job opportunities.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership hope that the zone will create 12,600 jobs and attract around 250 new advanced manufacturing and technology-based businesses to the city region by 2015 – potentially rising to 20,000 jobs when the zone is fully developed.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "Since the launch of our enterprise zone in 2012, 18 new companies have located to our enterprise zone with 345 jobs already created on site and around 300 set to be created in the coming months.

"Businesses have been attracted to join our modern manufacturing and technology community which offers outstanding transport connectivity, a highly-skilled talent pool and the best UK government tax incentives available."

The Government has also confirmed start dates for a number of Rotherham infrastructure projects.

Work on the £300m managed motorway scheme on the stretch of the M1 between through Rotherham is still scheduled to start in 2014 despite consultation ongoing into reduced speed limits.

The innovative £60m tram train pilot project between Sheffield, Rotherham Central and Parkgate is also underway this year, as is the £5m conversion to signalised crossroads at Pool Green (aka Liquid) Roundabout and the maintenance work to Old Flatts Bridge at Catcliffe.

Government schemes set to be completed this year include work to widen the M1 junction 33 and the variable mandatory speeds being introduced between J31 and 32 on the M1 at a cost of £2.6m.

Harworth Estates website

Images: Harworth Estates

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