Peel buys former paper mill from administrators

Peel Ports, owner of the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, has bought the land and property at the former site of the Bridgewater Paper Company in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The purchase, from administrators Ernst & Young for an undisclosed sum, will give Peel Ports the opportunity to develop up to 75 acres on the Cheshire banks of the Ship Canal near where it joins the Mersey.

The site has rail connections to the UK's rail network via two local lines, one of which runs into the site, and road access to the M53 within 800 yards of the site's front gate.

Andy Martin, head of estates at Peel Ports Mersey, said: "We are very excited by the potential of this site, and there is a substantial opportunity for development and regeneration for the right customers. The location, which is logistically second to none, is highly suitable for a wide range of port-related uses including manufacturing, processing, energy generation or distribution. Added to the site's other attractions is the existence of a significant and modern office complex."

Stephen Carr, head of business development at Peel Ports Mersey, said: "This acquisition fits in well with our strategy of continuing to develop Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal as a key logistical hub for the UK, maximising the potential of 44 miles of waterfront, and allowing customers to deliver value from cheaper and greener access to the major population centres.

"The success of this strategy can be seen by the fact that, due to levels of demand from customers, we have recently doubled the capacity of our barge service from Liverpool to Irlam and points between. In addition Peel last month secured planning permission for a port on the Ship Canal at Warrington, and there are plans for others at Port Salford and Port Wirral."

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