£4.3m Mersey Gateway clean-up begins

Work is under way to demolish an unused industrial estate and clean up acres of land contaminated with chemicals as part of a major regeneration scheme.

Stobart Group has begun work on the West Bank Dock Estate area in Widnes, near Liverpool, as part of the local council’s Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) Masterplan.

Stobart Group, which includes the Eddie Stobart haulage business, received a £4.3m grant from the North West Development Agency to clean up 48 acres of land which was previously home to chemical firm Tessenderlo.

The site, which has been described by Halton Borough Council as an “eyesore industrial estate”, will be transformed into a major new distribution centre for Stobart, which is set to bring 1,200 jobs to the area.

Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group chief executive, said the work was part of the company’s vision to become the UK’s leading provider of “multimodal transport and logistics”.

“Stobart ultimately aims to maximise rail freight opportunities as part of its strategy for the site to reduce road congestion and harmful emissions associated with road transport,” he said.

“We are delighted with the support we have received from the North West Development Agency and Halton Borough Council.”

He promised local people that the company would create more environmental improvements and jobs in the future.

Peter White, executive director of development at the North West Development Agency, said: “Through enabling [the site’s] remediation to bring it back into economic use, the agency’s investment will kick-start a major redevelopment that will help to significantly rejuvenate this area of Halton.”

Stobart Group’s clean-up and redevelopment of the West Bank Dock Estate is just one phase of the 3MG project, which is expected to create up to 5,000 jobs in the coming years.

Kate Martin

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