Clean-up trial on former chemicals site opens door to regeneration

A £1.2M trial to examine clean-up techniques for residual contamination left on a West Yorkshire site by nearly a century of chemical industry is nearing to an end.

Aeternum, the developer that owns the former Hickson Chemical Works in Castleford, West Yorkshire, has been involved in remediation work on the site and is working with Wakefield Council to remove the restriction on development in the area surrounding the dormant plant.

The restriction zone, which was in place when the chemical works were in operation, meant that no housing could be built within a mile of the plant for safety reasons. The restriction zone has since been lifted, opening up the opportunity for regeneration.

The conclusion of the current work on site, which is driven by Cambridge University and Eco Foundations, paves the way for the next stage of the project, to clear the remaining plant equipment before redevelopment can begin.

Aeternum has already begun work on plans to transform the site into a modern, industrial green-tech hub for the future. The clean-up operation itself is expected to cost around £20M.

Aeternum partner, David Frohnsdorff, said: "We are proud and privileged to have been a part of this site trial, which brings together leaders in academia, business and industry. We look forward to seeing its conclusions and assessing the best way we can make this site ready for regeneration."

Maxine Perella



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