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Ellesmere Port in line for massive £2bn investment

Consultants believe big investment is heading to the town

Ellesmere Port is in line for a massive £2bn of new investment according to consultants(Image: Andrew Doyle)

A massive £2bn of future investment could be heading towards Ellesmere Port, specialist economic consultants believe.

The independent review by Liverpool based Amion Consulting says this would be in addition to £400m which has already been brought in with 2,600 jobs created.

The review was carried out for the Ellesmere Port Development Board and the borough council.

It is said to reveal the success of the town’s regeneration programme with ‘substantial progress’ made in delivering economic growth.

The council says the key priorities have been to attract and encourage investment to create local employment and make local people proud of Ellesmere Port as a place to live, work and visit.

The 2,600 jobs boost represents a near 10% increase in employment compared to the UK average of 4% and just over 2% in the north west.

Over the past four years the number of claimants in the town has reduced from 1,850 to 870 it is revealed with a 30% growth in the number of new businesses, double the north west average and four times the national figure.

On the housing front 1,128 new homes are currently under construction by Barratts, Redrow, Countryside, MacBryde Homes, Bellway, Persimmon, Magenta, Sanctuary, Linden Homes and Anwyl with 976 dwellings already completed.

And a further 5,500 plus already have permission against a target of 4,800 by 2030.

The review highlights over £400m of private sector and inward investment to date in the area including Regatta, Jaguar Land Rover/DHL, Westland Horticulture, Marks & Spencer, Essar, Peel, Urenco, Cheshire Oaks and the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park ‘with a further £2bn forecast’.

Public sector support and investment includes £6m from the Regional Growth Fund to support £168m of private sector investment, £8m of Local Growth Funding to support the proposed public services hub in the town centre, Enterprise Zone status secured for 10 key sites as part of the Cheshire Science Corridor, European Assisted Area Status secured running from 2014 to 2020, a Local Development Order established for the North Road Industrial Area, the town centre improvement programme with almost 50% of the shops on the Whitby Road high street improved along with the new University Church of England Academy, the Ellesmere Port Sports Village and the West Cheshire College campus, all multi million pound schemes, improvements to parks and green spaces and the upgrading of key gateways and corridors to the town.

The review concludes that ‘very significant’ progress has been made although ‘there are still opportunities and challenges remaining’.

The consultants encourage the development board and the borough council to drive the regeneration of the town centre and ensure major investment activities in the pipeline throughout the town take place.

Development board chairman Chris Farrow said: “The report is very encouraging showing the impact the board and partners have had.

“We can now look forward to the next phase of investment with the new Enterprise Zone sites being a key focus to securing new business and employment opportunities.”

Cllr Brian Clarke, the borough’s economic development and infrastructure chief added: “The review has identified substantial progress in delivering economic growth for Ellesmere Port including over double the growth in new jobs compared to the rest of the country, over £400m investment and a further £2bn forecast.”

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