Former shipyard future is secured

A computer generated image of the proposed development at the Swan Hunter shipyard site.
A computer generated image of the proposed development at the Swan Hunter shipyard site.

NORTH Tyneside Council has secured a partner that will help deliver its multi-million pound regeneration at the former Swan Hunter shipyard.

The partner was confirmed by local authority’s cabinet last week, but it will not be identified until the formal procurement process is completed over the next few weeks.

Once in place it will take the lead in developing the infrastructure on the site, now called Jupiter PaRC@Swans, including providing ready-to move-into manufacturing accommodation for employers keen to set up business and provide jobs on the Wallsend riverside.

A masterplan is already in place, showing the site has the potential to accommodate up to 50,000 square metres of new manufacturing and office space.

And £13.6m of capital funding has already been secured to deliver the infrastructure improvements to complement the regeneration, including dredging of the quay berths, repairing and strengthening of the quay walls, new electricity and water supplies and road and access improvements.

The next phase will see facilities for new small and micro businesses focused on innovation and research and development, with the creation of a Business Incubation and Research and Development Centre on the site.

A separate second stage bid for ERDF funding has been submitted for this project.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “This new partnership is the final piece of the jigsaw in delivering the regeneration of this vitally important site and the wider economy of the borough and the north east.

“The developer partner will provide the ready to move into buildings that businesses want so they can take advantage of the benefits of this site being part of the North East Low Carbon Enterprise Zone and create jobs for people in this area.

“Together with the £13.6m of infrastructure improvements to roads and the quay, and the exciting initiative to bring a new crane to the site that will improve river access, we can say that Jupiter PaRC@Swans is well and truly open for business.”

The regeneration of the Swan Hunter site was made one of the highest priorities for North Tyneside Council in order to stimulate growth and rebalance the local economy.

The river Tyne is already one of Europe’s leading locations for the sub-sea, oil and gas, offshore manufacturing and renewable energy sectors.