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Enterprise Zone will be boost for all

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THE proposed Omega Enterprise Zone in north Warrington would provide a massive economic boost for the whole of the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region and play an important role in tackling deprivation, new research has revealed.
Transformation of the site at Burtonwood into a major mixed-use development of office, manufacturing, hotels and leisure facilities, would generate £30 million a year in business rates alone.
The zone, which would benefit from simplified planning rules, priority super-fast broadband access and tax breaks for businesses choosing to locate there, would create more than 20,000 jobs over the next 12-15 years, the new figures disclose.
The team behind the bid for enterprise zone status, which includes the new Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Warrington Borough Council, Warrington and Co and private sector regeneration experts Miller Developments, believes the plan would play an important role in helping tackle pockets of deprivation that exist in the sub-region through job creation and the boost it would give the economy.
They say the sheer scale and volume of Omega would have untold benefits, not just for Warrington, but for the whole of the sub-region.
The former Burtonwood airbase site, just off the M62 motorway in Warrington, is one of 29 potential sites shortlisted for the Government’s second wave of enterprise zones nationwide, 10 of which will be selected by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
The Omega site has been nominated for its huge potential for growth and diverse job creation.
Christine Gaskell, chairman of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, which has led the bid said: “These figures highlight just what a strong case there is for Omega to get enterprise zone status and how important it is that the bid succeeds.
“This is an exciting and far-reaching project which has got full backing from all of the sub-region’s business stakeholders.
“Omega has fantastic potential for growth and diverse job creation, including many valuable high-end jobs, with all the benefits they will bring to the wider economy of Cheshire and Warrington.
“Those benefits will cascade down to all sections of the community. There are some areas locally with high levels of deprivation and Omega will help to tackle the problems they have.
“We also firmly believe the sheer scale and volume of the Omega project puts it among the most ambitious enterprise zone bids in the country.”
Jonathan Wallis, development director of Miller Developments, said: “We have planning permission in place, we have funding in place and we are ready to deliver a first class project, if we get enterprise zone status.
“Omega has massive potential for growth and job creation. We are delighted that it has received such universal backing from business leaders, key decision makers and politicians, who can all see what a successful bid will mean for Cheshire and Warrington.”
Cllr Terry O’Neill, leader of Warrington Borough Council, believes the creation of an Omega Enterprise Zone will enable the area to continue to attract major business investment – something it has been successful at for more than three decades.
He said: “The increased business rates that are projected will be of massive benefit to everyone living and working in Warrington and Cheshire.
“The enterprise zone designation will create the conditions necessary to allow the construction of new commercial buildings and the creation of large numbers of new jobs.
“It will allow us to keep doing what we do best – provide attractive locations for high value, growth businesses across a range of sectors.
“The council has engaged with the local business community throughout the process and everyone is fully behind and totally committed to Omega. That support from business is a key driver in the development of the project.
“We are also committed to ensuring that the benefits of Omega are felt by all sections of the community and that it will help to address the challenges facing deprived areas locally.”
Andy Farrall, executive director of environment and regeneration at Warrington Borough Council, said: “The ability Warrington has to attract and retain high quality business investment is there for all to see – it provides a headquarters location for 25 major companies across a range of sectors.
“Warrington is third only to Manchester and Liverpool in the North West in terms of number of corporate headquarters. Another key advantage for Omega is its location – with its superb transport links – and its access to a highly-skilled and motivated workforce.”
Picture: an artists’ impression of the original Omega development.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

12 Comments

  1. It looks like something is happening at last! Nothing moved in 5 years under the Lib Dem/Tory administration, so it’s good to see progress now

  2. Hmmm and how many years before that under Labour??? (20) – It was Cllr’s ONeill and Joyce that almost buggered the whole thing up.

    In fact Swede you must change your name to Turnip – One thing though thankfully for Our Lib Dem councillors that took the fight forward over your Labour Titan prison. Where was the two Labour MP’s then?????

  3. Well said Keepwatching…. and don’t let people forget the LibDem plans for the incinerator on that land! They had thousands of plans in the budget for the consultants to work their plans.

  4. Do you think the two MPs were busy fighting the LibDems’ plans to sell off Walton Hall and equally importantly fighting the LibDems plans building on Sankey Valley Park? Our local LibDem councillors perfectly illustrate why we need to cherish the NHS to support those suffering from delusions and selective memory loss.

  5. These attempts at political point scoring are pathetic. WBC has pursued exactly the same policy with regard to Omega for years irrespective of who has been in control.

    The reason nothing has happened is a little thing called the recession.

  6. ‘My Labour prison’? What on earth are you on about? Maybe you should be Turnip – “Where were the two Labour MPs” would be grammatically correct!

  7. I don’t have any chums – I say things as I see them, that’s all. And which “facts” would these be, then? Ones that aren’t convenient for you and your chums?

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