Private sector partners Verdion and Harworth Estates joined Greg Clark MP today on the Sheffield City Region (SCR) stand at MIPIM UK 2014 to promote the City Region located at the strategic heart of the Country – with Doncaster as its main focus.
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science & Cities visited the stand to speak with an international audience of developers, investors, occupiers and advisors at the inaugural MIPIM UK, the Property Marketplace, held in London’s Olympia. He described Sheffield City Region as a “City Region with the vision and capability to play a significant part in the growth ambitions of UK plc.”
Clark singled out Doncaster, one of the nine local authority areas that comprise the Sheffield City Region. A mid-sized city that has “already demonstrated that their local leadership has the drive and ability to progress landmark projects within months of receiving Growth Fund allocation.”
Over recent years Doncaster Council has facilitated the progression and delivery of several regeneration projects to unlock jobs, growth and housing, including the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS).
Construction of the £56m road started in October 2013. The scheme will unlock around £1.7 billion of private investment, creating approximately 20,000 jobs and 5,000 new homes by improving access to key development sites in the process.
The FARRRS scheme brings forward major developments such as Harworth Estates’ 1,200 home housing development at Rossington Colliery. It also significantly improves access to Peel Ports’ Robin Hood Airport and opens up a business park operated by Peel Holdings that benefits from Enterprise Zone enhanced capital allowances.
Also being developed will be the iPort, developed by Verdion. iPort will bring up to 5,000 new jobs to the area. Direct rail access to iPort will enable the project to contribute to moving HGV’s off the UK’s road network. iPort is strategically important to the wider northern economy’s ambitions to contribute proportionately more to national GDP by developing UK and global trade corridors.
Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, also present on the stand at MIPIM UK, commented: “We have, this month, commenced on a £21 million additional infrastructure package on the site that includes main services and ground works for an initial 3 million sq ft of development. We are putting in main access roads and levelling to make the site ‘oven ready’ for development.
“As well as the support within the Sheffield City Region, we have to thank the backing of our funding partners HOOPP, who, along with Verdion, are investing around £300 million into iPort which will greatly benefit Doncaster.”
Iain Thomson, Partnerships Manager at Harworth Estates, said: “The local authority have been instrumental in pushing forward the FARRRS regeneration scheme which has unlocked the development potential in the area. Our site in Rossington will make a significant contribution to Doncaster’s and the City Region’s key housing targets over the next ten years.
“We now have prepared platforms for the first phase of development and, subject to the receipt of reserved matters consent, two housebuilders will be building 160 plots on site from March 2015.”
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “FARRRS is the perfect example of how the private and public sectors can work together to deliver a strategic infrastructure scheme that enables major developments to come to fruition. Doncaster is making great strides and it’s vital that we bang the Doncaster drum to international investors and developers.
“With a new Enterprise Zone at our airport, ongoing regeneration in our town centre and across the borough and the new National High Speed Rail College coming online soon, the progress we are making is clear to see. When these initiatives are considered alongside our rich rail, roman and racing heritage and superb assets like our world-class racecourse, Doncaster is most certainly an investment hotspot and on a fast track to economic growth.”