Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Widnes, Cheshire, 6 December 2011 – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) in Widnes today, as part of a tour of Regional Growth Fund supported projects in the North West, where he announced more money and new jobs for the region.
3MG, and the Stobart Park freight facility within it, represents a long-term pubic-private partnership between Halton Borough Council, Stobart Group and Prologis. With 3MG now well into its phase two development, the partnership received a further boost today with the Regional Growth Fund support announced by Mr Clegg.
Working together, the three partners will expand the freight park and develop the site into a cutting edge logistics and distribution hub for the north of England. In doing so, the project aims to create thousands of new jobs for local people, attract more blue chip companies to the borough and capitalise on the area’s excellent transport network and great cities for business nearby.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Creating long term jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain. For too long the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London and this has often been at the expense of places like Widnes. I want the North West to be a place where people make things again, where iconic businesses like Stobart can thrive. The Regional Growth Fund is unlocking private sector investment, with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money.”
He added: “The fund is already helping the economy grow in every region and across a range of industries. Today I have also announced an additional billion pound boost for British businesses, which means the Regional Growth Fund will create an estimated half a million jobs before the end of this parliament.”
L-R Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer Stobart Group, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, and William Stobart, Chief Operating Officer Stobart Group
Stobart Group CEO, Andrew Tinkler, said: “The public-private partnership driving development at 3MG is a win-win all the way, for business, the region, transport infrastructure and of course the creation of thousands of jobs. Our Regional Growth Fund application has been up against stiff competition, but our track record of fast turn-around, green energy solutions, prestigious tenants, job creation and successful partnerships has secured further public purse investment in 3MG.”
Stobart Group COO, William Stobart, added: “We are looking forward to the completion of phase two, and bringing a new dawn of further jobs and new prosperity to the region.”
3MG’s phase one development was completed last year, with the opening of a new state-of-the-art, biomass fuelled chilled Tesco distribution centre, servicing all of its stores across the North and creating 1200 jobs at the site. The new Tesco facility is powered by a biomass power station installed and operated by Stobart Biomass. By recycling packaging and waste from the distribution centre in the new biomass power station, this innovative green energy solution powers the entire operation without having to connect to the national grid.
Work by Halton Borough Council, Stobart Group and Prologis on phase two development of 3MG is well underway, and is expected to complete in spring 2013.