New potential tenants for the proposed £200m Yorkshire Energy Park site have been announced as a decision over the plans draws nearer.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Committee is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether plans for the energy park development on the former Hedon Aerodrome site can go ahead – a decision which could create up to 4,480 jobs across a wide range of sectors if the green light is given.
Now, a number of new potential occupiers and investors have announced their support for the plans and, subject to planning approval, plan to make it their home, recognising the potential of resilient energy at circa 20% less than current market rates, alongside the education, research and development opportunities of the scheme.
Among the interested parties is leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality waste and recycling solutions Straight Manufacturing Ltd. Commercial heads of terms have also been agreed with a European prefabricated construction company and a battery manufacturing business, again subject to planning permission.
A letter of appointment has been signed with a project multi-utility provider and talks are underway with a Venture Capital Fund over the sale of two to three acres of the site to enable new energy businesses to grow.
Meanwhile, further enquiries from companies which are new to the Humber region have been received and letters of support from major businesses, groups and leading business figures in the region have been submitted.
Local residents are also predominantly in favour of the proposed development as illustrated by the planning portal letters (325 support vs 204 objections as of October 2019).
This support and interest comes after several multi-national and national brand names have already backed the plans. Major businesses already interested in what the energy park has to offer include E.ON Germany, Asanti Data Centres, Dell, SSE, leading battery manufacturer BYD, and infrastructure funder Legal & General, as well as the backing of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the region’s biggest business body, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Hull College Group.
Yorkshire Energy Park Project Director Claire Harrison said: “It is unusual for businesses to commit to a scheme ahead of a positive planning determination, so this support, both existing and new, shows how unique the Yorkshire Energy Park offer is and provides an indication of demand should the scheme secure planning permission in the coming weeks.
“The businesses committed to the development are coming to do more than just business.
“They are all keen to work with our education partners to develop future generations and, critically, they are committed to recruiting locally.”
Established more than 20 years ago, Straight Manufacturing Ltd is at the forefront of supplying inventive waste and recycling solutions, such as bins, reusable containers and garden products, to its customers across the UK.
Its current Hull site employs around 100 local people and the new and additional facility at the proposed Yorkshire Energy Park site would be of a similar size.
Straight Manufacturing Ltd is part of IPL Plastics Inc, a leading sustainable packaging solutions provider, managing packaging products worldwide in the food, consumer, agricultural, logistics and environmental end-markets, with its largest geographical markets in the UK, USA and Canada.
IPL’s operations include a network of 15 manufacturing facilities, seven corporate and sales offices, and four centres of excellence located in these countries, as well as Ireland, China and Mexico.
In a letter included as part of the updated planning documents, Stuart Butler, General Manager of Straight Manufacturing Ltd, said he wrote to express his “full support” for the Yorkshire Energy Park development.
Mr Butler said: “As part of the Group’s growth plans, we are seeking additional premises and have been in detailed dialogue with the developers at Yorkshire Energy Park to explore 75,000 sq ft of manufacturing space, with adjoining office space and external storage.
“Having explored several locations across the UK, we are keen to take advantage of the exclusive nature of the private wire agreement, opportunities for research and development, as well as the data infrastructure the Yorkshire Energy Park business park, will provide us with.
“We would welcome the opportunity to make the East Riding of Yorkshire our next business location, should the planning be approved.”