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Viewpoint - 15/05/2013

Advanced Manufacturing Park will be a driving force for the North West

Andrew Aherne, Head of Industrial and Logistics Agency in the North West, warns that now isn’t the time for complacency and instead major investment is needed to sustain the region’s position as one of the UK’s major players in the automotive industry.

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North West’s automotive sector major economic contributor

In recent years the North West has built up a considerable presence within the automotive sector with players such as Vauxhall, Jaguar, Bentley and Land Rover helping to make it a choice location for manufacturing. The automotive sector has made the region a significant employer with a skilled workforce in excess of 40,000 employees and local universities and colleges supporting this growth industry further. It has also become a major contributor to the regional economy.

However, to ensure this sector remains a driving force within the region, the North West must take steps towards attracting future investment for not only the automotive sector, but also its wider industrial concern.

Government initiatives key to supporting future growth

The Government has invested billions into the regeneration of the North West. With this substantial investment the region has diversified and now plays a pivotal role in industries such as international aerospace, chemical engineering and the automotive sector. However, there remains opportunity in the North West to develop a dedicated intermodal manufacturing destination to help its continued growth.”

The development of an automotive supply park or advanced manufacturing park located in the region willwithout question support the region’s manufacturing base and position within the marketplace.  
The availability of capital is constrained, but the Government is making steps to address this through the provision of a regional growth fund, enterprise zones and enhanced capital allowance, initiatives and these are currently being taken advantage of by Peel Holdings.

Peel’s Wirral Waters site of strategic importance

Peel Holdings’ planned Wirral Waters Urban Village in the Wirral, part of the site at West Float, outlines approximately 35 acres for manufacturing and logistics. The site will also benefit from direct quayside access with also potential for rail access, close proximity to the motorway network, Enterprise Zone status and one of only ten sites in the UK to benefit from enhanced capital allowance.

This site, which will be launched shortly, will provide excellent accessibility to the major automotive plants, as well as the food, engineering and chemical sectors in the region, and will offer significant financial benefits. LSH is advising Peel Holdings and we strongly believe this development will not only attract major interest but also become a key contributor to the region’s industrial successes.
The region has taken huge strides in the last ten years particularly with the Atlantic Gateway initiative and is well placed to build on this to continue this growth. Currently the North West is the UK’s second largest region for automotive manufacturer – but perhaps in a further ten years we could be first if we take the necessary steps now to achieve it.


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