Joint council project aims to establish Heysham Gateway as premier business location in the north-west
It is hoped the site in Imperial Road will attract new industries, particularly around the low carbon and energy sectors.
County Coun Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said the huge potential to foster economic growth in the Heysham area is one of the key reasons that the Bay Gateway was for so long the number one highway development project for Lancashire County Council.
The county council and Lancaster City Council own parcels of land to the west of Imperial Road on Lancashire West Business Park.
Both parties are now seeking to make existing and potential employment areas better able to capitalise on the completion of the Bay Gateway.
The Heysham area has a history of heavy industrial use which has left a legacy of contamination and dereliction.
In a statement, Lancashire County Council said the site will help attract new industries, particularly around low carbon and energy sectors, whilst providing additional employment site capacity close to Heysham Port – one of Lancashire's major transport infrastructure assets that supports key trade routes.
Work to date shows there is a potentially viable commercial development/investment proposition for the site, and the completion of the Bay Gateway has opened the door to making this a reality.
Further work is now needed to investigate the potential of the site in detail, and address issues such as the cost of land remediation, along with planning and infrastructure requirements.
This project, agreed in principle, supports the strategic objectives of the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund to deliver business cases and site preparation studies which will help to unlock future investment.
Specifically, the project aims are to establish the Heysham Gateway as a premier business location in the north-west and:
· Deliver a portfolio of new and improved industrial sites/premises to meet business needs with priority given to high job creation/growth, energy generation, environmental/recycling technology and facilities to serve the projected increase in port traffic.
· Address uncertainty in the market and overcome the many long-term viability issues created by infrastructure deficiencies, dereliction, contamination and ownership fragmentation.
· Through strategic drainage and habitat projects improve environmental quality and recreational opportunities.
County Coun Michael Green, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "The huge potential to foster economic growth in the Heysham area is one of the key reasons that the Bay Gateway was for so long the number one highway development project for Lancashire County Council.
"The Heysham Gateway project is the key to unlocking much of that further investment by providing a good quality commercial development site in a location where businesses can benefit from close proximity to Heysham port, and the excellent link to the transport network provided by the Bay Gateway.
"The industrial history of this site means there is vital initial work to do to address issues such as land remediation, and investigate infrastructure requirements, and I'm pleased that the support of the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund will allow this to get underway."
Councillor Janice Hanson, Lancaster City Council cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and planning, said: "Our successful bid for funding is positive news for the district and will help us explore in greater detail the potential of the Heysham Gateway (Imperial Road) area as a high quality, sustainable employment site that is attractive to businesses.
"We can now look forward to working with the county council to undertake the detailed viability and feasibility work needed to help develop a masterplan for the gateway area and one which will ensure the location capitalises on the completion of the Bay Gateway."