UP TO 7,500 jobs could be on their way to Ellesmere Port in the next four years.

That is the ‘fantastic success story’ for the town unveiled by Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Mike Jones.

But Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller warned that the investment must be matched with world-class public facilities to attract families to work and live in the area.

Cllr Jones was speaking at a ‘state of the borough’ debate in front of full council in Winsford.

Jobs have already been announced at Vauxhall Motors (700), Jaguar Land Rover (300), Regatta (200), Sinclair (250) and Marks & Spencer (up to 650).

Cllr Jones said he anticipated 70% of the 3,500 jobs being created on the Ince Recovery Park would be available within three to five years.

He also revealed council was in confidential discussions with other companies which could produce a further 1,500-2,000 jobs in the town.

Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said: “To make the town an even more attractive place to live that does include creating world class public facilities.

“If you’re going to attract people into the area you’ve got to give them a reason to live here.

“It’s about changing the image of the town making sure there are things for them to do.”

Cllr Charles Fifield said: “As a chartered surveyor I have an interesting insight into how our local economy is performing and I see it starting to improve. There are signs of confidence and movement.

“Employers want to take on more staff because they recognise the strengths of this borough.

“It has excellent communication networks, two international airports within easy reach and a main line train route.

“This borough has been forward-thinking. This borough is well-placed to take advantage of economic development in and around it.”

Cllr Ben Powell said that with unemployment still up on previous years, work still needs to be done.

He added: “We face challenges across the borough and difficult times.

“We are seeing lots of investment in Ellesmere Port.

“We need to commission a full report about our strengths and weaknesses.”

Members agreed that Corporate Scrutiny Committee should carry out a review of the council’s policies, processes and procedures to assess their effectiveness in creating the next environment to promote investor confidence.

“It is a bit naughty of the council to claim credit for something they had nothing to do with such as the M&S store.

“Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council granted planning permission for that and Chester City Council objected.

“If the council takes the lead in developing world class public facilities then the private sector will follow.

“That is my challenge to the council: we need to see affordable housing developed at a more rapid pace and world class public facilities such as the college building.”