Council sets out vision for Ellesmere Port as a green energy 'Super Place'

6 October 2021

Council leaders in Cheshire West and Chester will hear about ambitious plans for the future of Ellesmere Port, which could bring in more than £1.8bn worth of investment for jobs and the borough’s green economy. 

At its meeting on Wednesday 15 October, members of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet will be asked to endorse the vision, themes and strategic objectives for the Ellesmere Port Industrial Area in the Development and Infrastructure Investment Framework (DIIF).

The document presents a shared vision for the area to form one of the first Net Zero Carbon industrial clusters in the world, and one of the UK’s ‘Super Places’ linking clean and green growth and low carbon technologies. 

The Ellesmere Port Industrial Area (EPIA) has 1,300 businesses employing 24,100 people. There are four distinctive development zones, that have attracted over £400 million investment to date including Regatta, Jaguar Land Rover / DHL, Westland Horticulture, Marks and Spencer, ESSAR, Peel (Protos), URENCO, Cheshire Oaks, University of Chester (Thornton Science Park) with a further £1.8bn forecast. The Framework predicts an increase to 1,463 businesses, employing 35,500 people by 2040. 

EPIA is already at the forefront of advanced plans to respond to the Climate Emergency through several transformational projects. Most significant is HyNet, an industry-led initiative to develop world-leading Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and Hydrogen Power. This project could transform the carbon balance in the area.

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration said: “The vision for The Ellesmere Port Industrial Area is ambitious and transformational, we want the area to be a national and international exemplar for the ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ and to drive forward the new low carbon economy of the future.

“The vision will have a direct impact on residents, connecting local people to jobs, skills and training opportunities in high value, innovative and growing employment sectors. Improved and sustainable travel across the area will also be a priority, including the new cycle route through Ellesmere Port and the work being completed on the A5117 shared use route.”

The EPIA has already seen huge investments including Fulcrum BioEnergy developing a new £600m waste to fuel plant. The project was shortlisted to receive funding through the Government’s ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ competition, it would make Manchester Airport the only airport globally to have a direct pipeline connection to a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) refinery.

The Government released its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in November 2020. The overriding purpose of the plan is to ‘support green jobs and accelerate the UK’s path to net zero’. Cheshire and Warrington are at the heart of this Green Industrial Revolution as a renewably powered ‘SuperPlace’, ready to deliver the Ten Point Plan with clear proposals for decarbonising the economy and creating green jobs.

Added Councillor Beacham: “The Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, following consultation with residents pledging to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030 and the borough carbon neutral by 2045.

 “HyNet has bid for Industrial Clusters Mission funding, the Cheshire and Warrington LEP has secured funding for sustainable travel improvements, and Peel, Essar, Vauxhall and other private sector stakeholders are investing significant amounts in delivering sustainable and low carbon technologies on their sites.”

Ellesmere Port has attracted extensive Public Sector investment including:
  • £6 million Regional Growth Fund to support £200m private sector investment.
  • £8 million Local Growth Fund that has contributed towards the £16m Ellesmere Port Public Service Hub and new Ellesmere Port Bus Interchange. 
  • Enterprise Zone status secured for 10 key sites.
  • Town Centre Improvement Programme (46 per cent shops on Whitby Rd improved).
  • Over £3 million combined investment from Local Growth Fund and Local Sustainable Transport Fund for improvements in new sustainable shared-use transport infrastructure at Stanney Lane and Sutton Way Boulevards; Thornton Way; Thornton Road; Lees Lane; A5117; and Canal Towpath improvements.
  • £12.4m investment to modernise and refurbish Council housing stock at Sutton Way.

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