Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Superport Gets Cash To Assist The Shift From Road Haulage to Rail Freight

Merseyside a Winner in the great Government Lottery
Shipping News Feature

UK – On a day when Business Secretary Vince Cable explained the purpose behind the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the Mersey Multimodal Gateway (3MG) partnership revealed it has secured £9 million of the cash to expand the freight park as part of the Liverpool City Region Superport Strategy. The money is partially to be used to develop rail infrastructure to encourage the switch from road haulage to general cargo and container freight by rail carriage.

The success of the 3MG bid was due to its regional importance and was supported by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and obtaining the funding was a remarkable achievement given that they were competing against another 463 bids submitted nationally with a combined total value of £2.78 billon.

3MG is a co-operation between the Stobart Group, Prologis and Halton Borough Council who intend to develop the Brownfield site reclaiming acres of contaminated land, creating up to 5,000 new jobs for local people making the movement of freight more sustainable and attracting more blue chip retailers to the borough. ProLogis are a foremost supplier of real estate to the logistics industry worldwide and Senior Vice President Simon Jenkins praised the award saying:

“Rail freight has an important role to play in the distribution of goods to, from and within the UK, so we are delighted to see that the Government is actively supporting the principle of moving freight from road to rail.”

He was supported by Richard Butcher, Deputy CEO of the Stobart Group, who commented:

"Stobart Group has already demonstrated its commitment to develop opportunities for jobs in the Halton region and also to deliver sustainable transport solutions for the future. Securing this funding is an important step to ensure those objectives continue to be met."

The successful Halton bid was one of fifty provisionally accepted by the Government with Mr Cable indicating that the money was being targeted at those areas which have got significant deprivation, or which may be hit by cuts and losses in public sector employment. The plans to invest a total of £450m in businesses across England with the purpose of protecting or creating 100,000 jobs were revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and ex Cabinet minister Lord Heseltine to criticism from opposition members who claim the total of £1.4 billion in funding being awarded over three years is half of what the previous administration would have provided.