Peel Environmental has started on site with the first phase of Protos, formerly known as Ince Park, and has secured a £6m loan from the Evergreen Fund to deliver infrastructure around the site.
Peel’s £170m investment aims to attract a collection of industries to the 126-acre site, themed around energy and innovation.
A deal to deliver a 20MW biomass plant and timber processing facility at the Cheshire site has reached financial close. Energy developer CoGen will construct and operate the facility, which will generate enough renewable energy to power around 40,000 homes.
The £6m loan from the North West Evergreen Fund will be used to bring forward phase one infrastructure at the site including construction of an access road.
Peel Energy’s neighbouring 19-turbine, 50MW Frodsham wind farm will form part of the wider Protos project. Construction of the biomass facility, access road and wind farm have now begun.
Myles Kitcher, managing director of Peel Environmental, said: “We are proud to launch our Protos vision to create a strategic energy hub at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. These first deals show investor confidence in the region and demonstrate how the private and public sector can unite to unlock forward-looking development and drive a Northern resurgence. This isn’t just aspirational – this is deliverable investment with spades already in the ground.
“Such significant investment will help us deliver a self-sustaining hub of businesses at Protos, centred on energy and innovation. We are also working to bring together industry and education in order to deliver this vision, which will be transformational for the North’s employment market and skills.”