Altrincham-based developer and investor Morley Estates has started work on its £30m business park and industrial zone at Penny Lane in Haydock, St Helens.
Empress Park will be built on a 6.5-acre site and has planning consent for collegiate-style offices, a crèche, gym and three retail facilities.
Boston Park, a former colliery site, is situated near to junction 23 of the M6 motorway and offers industrial space.
Representatives from the European Regional Development Fund, Morley Estates, and St Helen's Council were on the site to mark the start of work.
The scheme will include a number of elements such as:
- The reclamation of 7.1 acres of brownfield land
- 49,000 sq ft of office and industrial accommodation constructed and pre-let to three North West companies
- 72,000 sq ft of speculative industrial and office space constructed to BREEAM 'Excellent' standards
- Infrastructure to bring forward 5.5 acres of brownfield land for a new office development
The project has received £4m from the European Regional Development Fund towards the total £30m cost.
David Malpass, director of the European programme, said: "I am delighted to mark the start of work at Empress Park. In utilising the area for industrial and business use, the former colliery will ultimately create thousands of jobs for the area, with the knock-on positive effects felt throughout the local community such as increased property values and investor confidence."
Mark Dickens, head of regeneration at St Helens Council, said: "The current financial climate means St Helens' competitive advantages in terms of connectivity, catchment and cost are even more relevant to businesses keen to trim operating costs and maximise efficiency. Empress Park's prime location can deliver real economic benefits to businesses looking to expand or relocate in the borough."
Cllr Andy Bowden, St Helens Council cabinet member for urban regeneration and housing, said: "This is a great addition to our business accommodation offer in the borough. Morley's investment in Empress Park is strategically important in terms of creating employment opportunities for over 2,000 people – a significant addition to the local economy."