Wirral scheme to create 1,000 jobs

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An artist's impression of Wirral Waters © Wirral Waters

An artist’s impression of Wirral Waters © Wirral Waters

Wirral Council has revealed plans to develop an automotive park which could generate around 1,000 new jobs.

The proposed Automotive Supply Park could be constructed as part of the Wirral Waters project in Birkenhead docks and will incorporate a number of factories that produce parts for local car manufacturers, including Jaguar, Land Rover and Vauxhall.

The site, just off Beaufort Road, is being developed by Peel Holdings, which is also aiming to bring the International Trade Centre to the borough to enhance the £4.5bn industrial and business park.

General Motors and Tata were the first companies linked to this project, which is intended to drive automotive industry suppliers to invest in local manufacturers of car parts.

It is hoped that local manufacturers could be on site by 2015 and Wirral Council’s interim strategic director for regeneration and environment, Kevin Adderley, told JMU Journalism it could be ready in time for the release of the new Astra model.

He said: “As a council, we’ve been working closely with local automotive suppliers, government departments and organisations such as the Automotive Alloy Trade for over two years now to try and bring the supply chain back to the North West.

“Transporting parts from other parts of the world has increased and will continue to increase. The cost of labour in other parts of the world is not as cheap as it was, so basically the math adds up now to make the argument that these parts should be made closer to home.”

The scheme is being supported by the Government who have pledged the area as an enterprise zone, offering them special tax incentives.

Denis Chick, Director of Communications for Vauxhall Motors, told JMU Journalism that potential suppliers based outside of the UK need a reason to invest in this country and Peel.

He said: “Government grants and other incentives will offer a real opportunity for further external investment which will help Vauxhall, other local manufacturers and the North West region to grow and prosper through local parts manufacture and supply.

“Vauxhall is dedicated to raising the locally-supplied content at both of its UK manufacturing plants. The company has already been working hard to achieve this for when the new generation Astra goes into production in 2015.”

About Joshua Nevett, JMU Journalism