Parkside jobs scheme back on right track

New deal - Coun Barrie Grunewald (right) with Langtree chief executive John Downes
New deal - Coun Barrie Grunewald (right) with Langtree chief executive John Downes

PLANS to bring thousands of jobs to a former Wigan pit have been revived thanks to the creation of a unique public-private partnership.

Homebuilders Langtree and St Helens Council have pooled resources to buy the Parkside colliery site, which sits on the border of Wigan and Newton-le-Willows.

They created a new venture capital company to acquire the freehold to the site, which they hope, once fully developed, will bring 2,000 new jobs to the area.

The mine closed in 1993 and was the last in Lancashire’s coalfield to shut.

Almost ten years ago proposals were unveiled to transform the derelict site into a rail freight distribution site, which developers believed would create thousands of jobs.

But three years ago those plans faltered due to the turbulent economic conditions and the site has lain dormant ever since.

The current plans include creating a road and rail distribution venue for businesses.

Council chiefs say a planning application for the site will be submitted within the new few months.

St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “Parkside is one of the most important assets this borough has within its boundaries and offers the potential to create thousands of new jobs.

“This is a prime development site and offers a unique destination.

“We have received many inquiries regarding development opportunities in recent years but the former owners have not taken the site forward.”