‘Cheshire needs to exploit prime position in Powerhouse’

Cheshire has the strongest economy in the North of England yet its contribution to the Northern Powerhouse is in danger of being overlooked, says Henry Brooks, managing director of Tatton Estate Management.

Tatton Estate covers several thousand acres and is home and workplace to more than 1,000 people in more than 500 residential and commercial properties.

Cherry Tree Farm office conversion

Cherry Tree Farm office conversion

Brooks told Place North West: “It’s fantastic to see the progress Greater Manchester is making with their spatial framework, but why stop at the border? People and businesses don’t think in terms of local authority boundaries and we should be thinking about planning for the entire Northern Powerhouse, ensuring that decisions about infrastructure, employment space and housing are coordinated to maximise economic growth.”

Tatton Estate Management, the development and asset management division, is active on numerous projects from converting farms into modern offices, to attracting high-end pub operator Brunning & Price to former social club in the model village of Bostock Green, now classic country pub the Hayhurst Arms. Californian electric supercar maker Tesla is among a new wave of retailers to open in the past year in Tatton Estate premises in Knutsford, where its office is based.

In Knutsford, TEM is proposing to build 200 homes on land previously reserved for industrial use next to Parkgate Industrial Estate at Parkgate Common.

Knutsford Conservative Club

Knutsford Conservative Club

Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership state that it is one of the strongest and best performing economies in England, and the strongest in the North of England, with workforce productivity levels rivalling those generated anywhere in England outside of the capital.

Brooks added: “We’re lucky to have a range of world leading firms and specialisms which could be an even greater driving force behind economic growth in the region. We have a golden opportunity to accelerate the delivery of the entire region, not just our cities. We are proud to sit at the heart of this and are looking at projects that could deliver thousands of additional jobs over the next few years.

Brooks continued: “As the largest private landowner in Cheshire East we are always looking at new ways to create jobs and great places for people to live, work and play. We focus on attracting businesses that will benefit Cheshire, often by thinking creatively about how we can utilise the wide range of properties on the Estate. We work hard to promote Cheshire as a great investment opportunity and it’s fantastic to see how the region is booming.

“At Tatton Estate Management we are working within our own property portfolio and with external property owners to identify new projects that can enhance the local community and deliver value for owners.”

The Tatton Estate has been under the stewardship of the Brooks family since the death of the last Lord Egerton in 1957 when Tatton Hall and Park were separated and gifted to the National Trust.

The estate stretches from Altrincham, Bowdon and Hale in the north to Knutsford in the south in addition to land at Peover and Bostock Green.

Among the business interests of the estate are running Ashley Hall Showground and Event centre used for outdoor events and TV location filming, as well as providing property management and surveying services to tenants.

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The boundaries are artificial. Of course Cheshire is part of the Northern Powerhouse, but Cheshire East should co-ordinate with Greater Manchester as the synergies are obvious. Cheshire West integrates naturally and seemlessly with the Liverpool City Region – the Wirral was effectively split in two in 1974 when places like Ellesmere Port were severed from what beacame the metropolitan county. Chester was traditionally part of a wider functional Merseyside area for services such as NHS, water, electricity etc. The whole of Cheshire West would benefit hugely from integration with the Liverpool CR particularly for transport where we would all be grateful for seemless travel with Meresyside. Warrington is the post-74 anomally. It benefits from its mid Liverpool-Manchester location and effectively feeds off the larger markets that these two cities provide. It even distributes the mail for the northern part of the Liverpool city region. Yes, Cheshire has a very strong economy, it is the Mersey belt’s sucessful outer hinterland, just as the home counties are to London.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

The problem with the whole northern powerhouse concept is that it is really a Tory ideal focussed on Greater Manchester. Everywhere else just gets lip service. Focus on truly including the likes of Liverpool and Leeds before areas like Cheshire are considered. Maybe then it has a chance of being a real game changer for the north


Is it a case of the old tory philosophy of “divide and conquer”?

By Man on bicycle

In agreeing with Paul Blackburn’s comments we should also consider the contribution to the local sub-regional economy of North East Wales. The Deeside Industrial Park employs a large number of West Cheshire citizens and the Northern Gateway Development is set to increase the employment opportunities for the surrounding population whichever country they live within. It seems, however, that there is still an ambivalence on the part of Flintshire C C towards their English neighbours. Much closer collaboration is required to improve cross border transport, for example. The traffic build up on Aston Hill is a potential block to inward investment. The stalled development of the office park at Warren Hall is a case in point. Planning permission for the park was originally granted in December 2004 although the now defunct Welsh Development Agency acquired the property way back before that. The development should, perhaps,be renamed Chester Business Park phase two as it will, inevitably, benefit from the success of that initiative.

By Nigel Bruce

Yes, in the Northwest the Government would be wise to focus on Liverpool’s potential to contribute to national growth as it may be surprised at how it will outstrip its rivals and pay back investment with dividends.

By Paul Blackburn

And in agreeing with Nigel Bruce North East Wales is a crucial element of a Merseyside/Deeside economic region which needs to planned in an integrated, way and needs to be recognised as a linked economic region. It stretches from the Ribble estuary to the south of Wrexham and has a population that easily equals the eastern end of the Mersey belt around Manchester. Deeside Industrial Park is a great opportunity for this region and the Chester sub-region as are similar opportunities in Wrexham.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)

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