Jobs boost at former coalfield site

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AROUND 750 jobs could be created over the next seven years on a new logistics hub in Yorkshire’s traditional mining heartland.

St Paul’s Developments, which has revived a large number of disused coal field sites, believes the scheme could attract some of the biggest corporate names.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and St Paul’s have signed an agreement to create a 750,000 sq ft logistics hub on a 44 acre, enterprise zone site near Rotherham, in South Yorkshire. The HCA has appointed St Paul’s as its partner to deliver the industrial and warehousing scheme, which is known as 31 East.

St Paul’s described the scheme as a welcome addition to the South Yorkshire property market, because stock is “in extremely short supply”.

31 East stands on a site in Todwick Road, Dinnington, South Yorkshire, which was used by the coal industry, until it went into decline in the late 1980s.

Outline planning consent has been granted for industrial use, and the site can accommodate 750,000 sq ft of logistics and warehousing space, with the capacity to develop a single building of 450,000 sq ft. 31 East is one of nine sites on an “economic growth corridor” that have gained enterprise zone status, which means they can offer significant tax benefits to occupiers.

David Newton, the managing director of St Paul’s Developments, said; “We are delighted to have been selected by the HCA as development partner for this strategic site.

“St Paul’s has a long and successful history of developing in Rotherham, and also working with the HCA.

“With stock in short supply across South Yorkshire, and a limited number of sites able to accommodate occupiers seeking units of more than 300,000 sq ft, 31 East is coming to the market at the best possible time.”

Mr Newton said a lot of activity was being driven by the retail sector, as it aims to become more efficient. He added: “The retailers and everybody who works with them are still evolving.”

He hoped that around 750 people would be working on the site within the next five to seven years.

He added: “The workforce in South Yorkshire has always been well regarded in terms of its availability, and reliability.”

According to Mr Newton, there had been a “definite improvement” in enquiry levels since the New Year, which is a further sign that the economy is recovering.

Simon Herring, a HCA spokesman, added; “St Paul’s Developments has a strong track record for the delivery of large-scale regeneration projects across the region and we are looking forward to working in partnership to bring this exciting scheme to life. The site’s access, capabilities and enterprise zone benefits, make it one of South Yorkshire’s most exciting industrial opportunities.”

CBRE and Commercial Property Partners (CPP) are marketing the site.

Dave Cato, the associate director of industrial agency at CBRE, said; “The well-documented shortage of supply within South Yorkshire is contrasted by increasingly strong demand, as the market gains momentum and activity levels gather pace, particularly among industries such as manufacturing. We anticipate very strong demand for this site and we are looking forward to opening discussions with potential occupiers.”

CPP advised St Paul’s Developments in connection with the joint venture agreement.