Two commercial property agents have been appointed to secure additional national and international end users at the proposed £200 million Yorkshire Energy Park, with the aim of attracting significant inward investment to the Humber region.
Leading national real estate advisers GVA and Hull-based Garness Jones will promote the location to companies which could potentially set up home on the former aerodrome site, which has the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs.
It comes after leading energy supplier E.ON, Almax, IBM, L&G Investment Management, SSE Utilities, ZTE, Vodafone, and local education provider Hull College have already announced their support for the energy park plans.
The scheme, which is located within the boundary of Preston South village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, could generate a multi-million pound investment boost for the Yorkshire and Humber economy.
David Garness, Managing Director at Garness Jones in Hull, said: “Due to the scale and affordable energy, the Yorkshire Energy Park gives us a real opportunity to bring inward investment.
“My confidence in the city and region attracting investment and business is massively higher than it was a year ago. We can sell our location and it has very good ingredients.
“The Hull and Humber market has many existing occupiers and there will be an element of opportunity for them to grow. But there will be businesses which are growing and prospering, which are also looking for a location with the benefits that Hull has to offer, and this will be attractive to them.
“This is a genuine high profile offer set in a parkland environment and the east of the city is important because it’s very much a manufacturing heartland, so it will bring good opportunities in that respect.
“The Yorkshire Energy Park will generate significant efficiencies and savings for occupiers and is on a strategic site located in the heart of the UK’s energy estuary.
“We are genuinely delighted to be involved. We know the Hull and East Riding area very well and have successfully let a lot of stock down there in the last few years. To have more buildings is clearly welcome for us and the local market. It offers something a bit different with the affordable energy option.”
Yorkshire-based developer Sewell and Eco Parks Developments Ltd have partnered with London-based Chiltern, a national renewable energy, infrastructure and technology project facilitator, to deliver the proposed scheme.
The Yorkshire Energy Park could provide a unique business environment in the UK, bringing together low carbon energy generation and storage, education and training, and energy intensive industries such as information technology and food processing, on one site.
Generating private wire energy on site and with direct access to the National Grid, the park will provide best value, resilient energy for occupiers, as well as secure data storage in purpose-built accommodation.
Roger Lown, Senior Director at GVA, said: “On site energy generation will give the Yorkshire Energy Park a significant competitive advantage. There is an opportunity for occupiers to make substantial savings in their energy budgets.
“We see this as being particularly attractive to high energy use businesses. GVA is delighted to be involved in this high profile project.”
An outline planning application was submitted for the Yorkshire Energy Park in May and three rounds of community information events were held in Preston, Preston South, Hedon, Paull and Thorngumbald to share the proposals with the public as the plans developed, with hundreds of people turning out to share their thoughts and ask questions.
The site is currently owned by Hull City Council and the developers have been working in partnership with the local authority, as well as East Riding of Yorkshire Council, to ensure the project optimises economic development opportunities for the area while also recognising the ecological importance of the eastern part of the site.
Chris Turner, Chairman of the Yorkshire Energy Park Development Company and Chiltern Group, said: “GVA and Garness Jones are the best national and local agents in the country for this kind of project.
“Chiltern has been working with GVA for several years on highly complicated, large scale projects and they have an in-depth understanding of the energy occupier market, as well as a very strong team.
“Garness Jones come highly recommended and were selected as a result of a rigorous interview process.
“The Yorkshire Energy Park will provide secure, economical storage solutions for occupiers with large energy requirements and provide them with a choice of carrier neutral and dual resilient high speed fibre network connectivity options.“The aim is to bring together forward thinking businesses from across the globe to create and deliver innovation.”
As part of the investment, local sports and community facilities will also benefit from relocation on the site to new and improved accommodation.
In addition, the green buffer zone has been extended by almost 50% and, over the life of the development, the area is protected so it can’t be built on, instead reserved for birds and wildlife.
Traffic management and flood mitigation have also been taken into account under the plans
Easily accessible from the M62, by train, close to the Port of Hull and Humberside International Airport, the site will bring together businesses from across the globe to create and deliver innovation alongside education and research
Subject to a successful planning application, work on the Yorkshire Energy Park could begin in early 2018.