A developer behind a £100m project to transform the former Parkside Colliery site in Liverpool city region has signed a deal to offer opportunities to local businesses and young people. Tony McDonough reports
Developer Parkside Regeneration has struck a deal with St Helens Chamber that will offer opportunities for local businesses and young people on the £100m Parkside Colliery project.
Pre-construction work has started on the Parkside scheme in Newton-le-Willows which could eventually lead to the creation of 3,000 new jobs. Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove gave the green light to the scheme in November 2021.
Phase one of Parkside, to build 1m sq ft of logistics space, will see 450 people employed on its construction. This first phase will create space that could lead to up to 1,300 new jobs. However, LBN understands Parkside Regeneration has ambitions to build a a second phase which could lead to a total of 3,000 new jobs.
Now Parkside Regeneration, a joint venture between developer Langtree and St Helens Council, has appointed St Helens Chamber to deliver a youth and business engagement programme across the construction lifetime of the development.
Expected outputs cover the spectrum from ‘meet the buyer’ events to local apprenticeships, training opportunities, school visits and a range of low carbon initiatives.
John Downes, chairman of Parkside Regeneration and group chief executive of Langtree said: “From day one of the planning process seven years ago we committed to ensuring that Parkside delivers real value to the communities of St Helens borough. It’s payback time now and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Contracts have now been exchanged with St Helens Chamber to deliver a multi-layered programme of activity each year that includes:
- 21 apprenticeships
- 20 traineeships
- 200 engagements with school children
- 20 engagements with local SMEs
- 20 low carbon activities supported
Rachel Willacy, head of business services at St Helens Chamber, added: “We have a strong training provision and will train local people so they can access the opportunities the Parkside project will bring through apprenticeships, traineeships, and our education programmes.
“Our network of stakeholders and partners means we are well placed to engage with local businesses to offer them any support they may need, in order to benefit from construction contracts and opportunities on the site.”
The Parkside joint ventre is also hoping to work with one of the company’s shareholders, PGIM Real Estate, to explore the possibility of bringing the YouthBuild programme to St Helens.
The scheme, acknowledged as one of the world’s most advanced youth participation initiatives, helps engage and prepare young people for the world of work through education, skills training, career counselling and leadership development.
Parkside Colliery was operated by British Coal. It was opened in 1957 and closed in 1993 and was the last deep coal mine operating in what was known as the Lancashire Coalfield. Anne Scargill, the then wife of former National Union of Mineworkers president, Arthur Scargill, led a four-day occupy protest against the closure.