Council plans to snap up ‘critical’ employment site

A proposal to buy a “critical” employment site and secure its future as a place for business and jobs will go before councillors next week.

The 26-hectare site, at Durham Lane Industrial Park in Eaglescliffe, is attracting interest from national housing developers.

But members of Stockton Council’s cabinet will consider a proposal to snap it up for business and employment use when they meet on Thursday (January 23).

If agreed, the purchase would be paid for with money from the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF).

Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Council, said: “Stockton-on-Tees contributes around a third of the Tees Valley’s entire economic output.

“We continue to see a lot of interest from businesses wanting to come here and one of the key factors in enabling us to attract and achieve further business growth will be the availability of prime sites like this one.

“This particular site is a critical employment site, sitting directly alongside big industrial leaders like Nifco and Tata Global Beverages and offering an ideal location for more big industrial firms like these.

“And on the site’s edge is Eaglescliffe railway station, which not only offers a connection to London but is the subject of Combined Authority and Network Rail-led plans to provide a new footbridge, which would provide the site with rail access.

“The site is already earmarked for employment use in the Borough’s Local Plan. Buying it now would enable us to safeguard its future for that very use amid interest from housing developers.”

Tees mayor Ben Houchen added: “There is a need for new houses across the Tees Valley, but I’ve always said they must be the right type of homes in the right places. This site by Durham Lane Industrial Park is much more suited to supporting our risk takers, our innovators and our job creators than it is to housing.

“With world-class businesses already located a stone’s throw away, and major transport links, such as the nearby Eaglescliffe station, which will only get stronger, it’s clear this site has massive potential to boost our economy.”

If the acquisition is agreed by Cabinet, then the allocation of the IGF funds needed will be considered by full council as part of the medium term financial plan in February.

 

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