The North West Development Agency is planning to sell seven sites it owns on the open market under plans announced by the Government.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed in April that a majority of the property and land assets owned by regional development agencies, which are being closed next year, will be sold on the open market.
The Government also stated that newly formed local enterprise partnerships or local authorities would not be given them.
Those assets for sale in the North West include:
- Station Road in Silloth, Cumbria – The land was inherited from the Rural Development Commission when the NWDA was formed on 1 April 1999. The agency owns a small parcel of development land, approximately 0.29 acres in size. The land is on the market and available for development for employment uses. Over the years there have been various enquiries, none have resulted in a disposal. The RDC and English Partnerships were the two bodies which formed the NWDA.
- Borders Business Park, Cumbria – The estate, land only, no buildings, at Borders Business Park was transferred from the Rural Development Commission when the NWDA was created in April 1999. The Agency owns land totalling a gross area of 6.28 acres which is about 70% of the site. Since the NWDA acquired the site it has actively tried to sell the sites and has sold the other 30% of land to various businesses over the years
- Speke Freeholds, Merseyside – Speke Freeholds are strips of land located along Speke Boulevard of nil value, for which the NWDA is landlord. The agency is working to ensure the future owner utilises the land to best capacity and influence what development is carried out
- Wirral International Business Park, Ferry View – This development land is under agreement to Redsun Developments for a two phase scheme. Phase one will include five new industrial units ranging from 6,000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft. This development has been supported by the provision of ERDF grant funding package
- Lea Green Industrial Estate, St Helens – This site is located in St Helens and was subject to a development agreement in 2008. The NWDA owns a gross area of 1.92 acres. The agency is currently in final negotiations with a potential purchaser
- Hooton Business Park, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire – A site of 23.02 acres of development land near the Vauxhall plant. It has been the NWDA's intention to sell this land since it was inherited in 1999
- Rossmore Road, Ellesmere Port – The NWDA owns a gross site of 2.59 acres of development land, which is covered by a development agreement. Like Lea Green, the agency is currently in final negotiations with a potential purchaser
An eighth site, the Transport and General Workers' Union Building in Liverpool city centre, was sold to Unite for an undisclosed sum. The building is occupied by the Unite Union, formerly the TGWU.
The NWDA is currently in a period of purdah and declined to comment.