Matchworks in Speke by Urban Splash

Liverpool Land toasts long goodbye with strong results

Despite high-profile setbacks with improvements to the Edge Lane corridor, Liverpool Land Development Company reported a strong performance in its latest annual results.

LLDC said it attracted £28m of private-sector investment to the city over the year to April, creating 221,000 sq ft of office and light industrial space and improving 42 acres of land.

The results cover the company's penultimate year as it is one of three public sector regeneration bodies in Liverpool due to be merged into one new super-agency by April 2008, along with Business Liverpool and Liverpool Vision.

Ian Hassall, chief executive of LLDC, said: "The past year was very positive for the development company and the current year is set to be even more successful as many of our major projects come to fruition.

Ian Hassall"We are now well placed to achieve the stretching targets that we set ourselves when the development company was established back in 2003."

LLDC emerged out of the Speke Garston Development Company and was primarily funded by the European Objective One programme. LLDC is responsible for regeneration projects in four routes into the city: Approach 580 (Aintree, Gillmoss and Kirkby), Eastern Approaches (the Edge Lane corridor), Atlantic Gateway area (north Liverpool docklands) and Speke Halewood (in South Liverpool).

A public inquiry into a Compulsory Purchase Order at the western end of the Edge Lane project, the company's largest, rejected LLDC and its partner's plans and forced them to be put on hold. A second public inquiry will be held in the New Year. Work did progress successfully on other sections of the road.

Hassall said the past year saw the creation or safeguarding of 800 jobs and a number of important new inward investments at Estuary Commerce Park in Speke including transactional printer Communisis and social housing organisation Keepmoat. There were also new arrivals at Langtree's Venture Point and at Urban Splash's Matchworks.

Work also began, or continued, on a number of new development sites including Wellington Employment Park in the Sandhills area of north Liverpool and Stonebridge Park and Brookfield Business Park in the Approach 580 area.

New developments in Speke Halewood included Dakota Business Park and the Matchbox while in the Eastern Approaches area work got under way on Liverpool Innovation Park on Edge Lane.

Good progress was also made on bringing forward plans for future activities including the redevelopment of the Littlewoods building on Edge Lane, the Canada Place scheme in Bankhall and a second phase of improvements at Aintree Industrial Estate.

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