Ellesmere Port RGF bid gains approval

Simon Donohue

Plans to create up to 4,000 jobs by unlocking the potential of employment sites in Ellesmere Port can now move forward after a £6m Regional Growth Fund bid gained approval.

The money was earmarked for Ellesmere Port from the third round of the RGF last year, with the bid subject to due diligence.

The bid was made by the Ellesmere Port Development Board and Cheshire West & Chester Council.

The money will be spent to support five key sites across the town, including Homes & Communities Agency-owned land at Hooton Park; Port Bridgewater; the former BP Castrol site; former Cabot carbon site and Newport Business Park at New Bridge Road.

Improvements will include the construction and upgrading of roads, remediation of land, improved transport links and environmental improvements.

Ellesmere Port development board chairman Robert Mee said: "When we heard that our bid had received preliminary approval in October, we knew we still had to put in a lot of hard work to ensure the funding became a reality.

"This is fantastic news and builds on our success so far.

"Our hard work is paying real dividends and we have successfully created Ellesmere Port as a location that is recognised as business and investment friendly.

"Now the funding can be spent unlocking the development of five key sites in the town, bringing major employment opportunities for local residents."

Cheshire West and Chester Council leader, Mike Jones, said: "This £6m RGF funding comes fast on the heels on a tremendous 2012 for Ellesmere Port, which saw companies including Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Sinclair, Debenhams, Travelodge Marks and Spencer decide to invest in the town.

"It demonstrates what a great place Ellesmere Port is to invest in, and the council will continue to support new and existing businesses interested in investing in the town.

"We have a growing reputation that speaks for itself.

"As well as the potential of creating over 4,000 thousand jobs there could be even more indirect jobs in supporting the companies which could be based in Ellesmere Port."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "We need growth that is more evenly balanced across the country.

"That is why we are supporting places such as Ellesmere Port with £6m of Regional Growth Fund money, which will enhance their infrastructure and continue to bring long-term employment to the area.

"Following wider manufacturing investment in the area this is a good further boost to the local economy and it gives Ellesmere Port a real opportunity to strengthen its position as an excellent place to do business.

"It will attract further investment for an important manufacturing hub in the North West."

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