Replace ""

Burnham For Mayor

Monday, 13 June 2011

Infrastructure and new marina complete at Bickershaw South

The former colliery site at Bickershaw, near Leigh, is primed for development, following the completion of extensive infrastructure works.

Previously derelict land has been decontaminated, new roads have been built and the construction of the development’s centre piece, a magnificent 40 berth marina on the Leeds – Liverpool Canal, is now in place.

Planning has already been granted for a highly sustainable development of up to 650 new homes at the site that will be built around the marina, alongside up to 2,750 sq m of business space.

The improvement works, carried out by Birse Civils, met high environmental standards with all excavated materials being reused on site rather than contributing to landfill. Wildlife will also benefit from an innovative drainage system, designed especially for the development, which will help improve and protect existing wetland habitats for water voles, great crested newts and nesting birds.

£11m investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) means that the 18 hectare site can now be marketed to private developers.

I celebrated the completion with a tour of the site, joined by representatives from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Wigan Council, Scott Wilson and Birse. They watched as narrow boats from local clubs became the first to use the spectacular new marina.

Deborah McLaughlin, executive director North West at the HCA, said: “This is a major milestone for what is a key development for Leigh. The new marina is a stunning feature that will be a key attraction for people looking to live or work here. We will now be working closely with our partners find the right developer to ensure that Bickershaw South fulfils its undoubted potential as a truly transformational scheme.”

Mark Farrah, managing director at Birse Civils North, said, “This has been a great scheme for Birse Civils to deliver, it has had interesting engineering challenges, and created a lot of local employment. An environmentally friendly approach was adopted during construction, the finished product is of excellent quality and has been delivered ahead of time. These impressive results can only be achieved by working closely with all project partners.”

Mark Hughes, chief executive of the NWDA, said, “A substantial amount of time, effort and resource has been committed to date, in order to bring about the remediation of the Bickershaw site. The infrastructure and location of Bickershaw makes it an attractive prospect and I look forward to the marketing of the site to private developers."

Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader at Wigan Council, said, “You can really see the scheme coming together now that the marina is full. There’s still plenty to do but the importance of this investment for Leigh and the local economy is massive."

“Together with plans for transport improvement on Atherleigh Way, the new cinema, two new supermarkets and jobs in North Leigh, the council is fully committed to Leigh’s continued regeneration.”

I have always seen this development as a crucial step in the ongoing regeneration of the Leigh area. Today is an opportunity to reflect on the work to date and to look forward to the next phase as the transformation of the site continues.