Kier Property appointed development partner for former Swan Hunter shipyardNews // July 15, 2013
North Tyneside Council has named Kier Property as its development partner to bring forward the regeneration of the former Swan Hunter shipyard.
The appointment follows a competitive tendering process and, under the contract, Kier Property will now deliver a master plan to transform the 34-acre site, secure occupiers for the high-tech industrial and office complex and build bespoke units over the next three years to meet the needs of individual occupiers.
The site will be marketed to advanced manufacturing companies specialising in the offshore industry, which will benefit from the easy access to the North Sea, a fully operational 300m quay, heavy-load lay down areas together with associated facilities and infrastructure.
The site has been identified as ‘strategically significant’ in the ongoing regeneration of the north-east and North Tyneside Council has already been successful in securing £13.8m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Homes and Communities Agency and the Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Places Fund.
This will fund infrastructure improvements, which have already commenced on the site to provide utilities, access improvements, quay edge improvements and dredging to allow for larger vessels to berth.
As the riverside quay will be an essential facility for new tenants on the wider site, North Tyneside Council has also agreed to begin procurement to appoint an experienced quay operator to deliver services at the site on behalf of the Council.
The successful bidder will be expected to manage the increased use of the quay as a result of the improved facilities on site.
Kier Property associate director, Mark Robinson, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to regenerate this iconic site. It has great potential to breathe new life into the area by attracting high-tech businesses, inward investment and creating new jobs.
“The new development will be of particular interest to advanced manufacturing companies that specialise in off-shore activity due to the great location of the site and purpose-built high-spec units.”
Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Council, added: "I am delighted that we are able to confirm Kier Property as our development partner for the former Swan Hunter shipyard.
“It is now essential that everyone works together to bring in employers who can provide much needed jobs for this borough.”
As an Enterprise Zone (EZ) there will be a number of benefits for employers taking up the opportunity to move onto the Swan Hunter site.
This includes five years’ business rates relief for businesses locating on or before 31 March 2015 and a simplified planning scheme through a Local Development Order, which allows development within set parameters to be constructed without the need for planning permission.
It will also benefit from recognition as one of six Centres for Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE) - partnerships between Central and Local Government and Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) that ensure businesses looking to invest in manufacturing for the offshore renewables industry receive the most comprehensive support possible.
CORE status will result in ongoing joint work between central and local partners to continue to develop these local offers, and unblock barriers to investment. It is a commitment to high-level Government support for local investment prioritisation that supports delivery.
The government’s Local Growth Minister, Mark Prisk, said: “This is the next step towards a bright future for the North Eastern Enterprise Zone; reinventing this former hub of industry as a business-ready centre for low carbon technology.
“With reduced rates, excellent transport and support for renewable industries, this site has the potential to attract businesses from around the world. I’m confident it will be up and running in no time, creating new jobs for local people and boosting economic growth.”
Companies interested in leasing space at the site should contact Paul Nicholson at PGN Property Consultants on 0191 264 6638 or Richard Dunhill at BNP Paribas on 0113 237 6661.