Revolution at old mine site could see 450 jobs and bring in £20m

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WORK has begun on an industrial unit development which could bring 450 jobs to the Barnsley area and is predicted to add up to £20m to the local economy.

Harworth Estates, the UK property regeneration company which is owned by Harworth Group, has started work on the project, which is known as R-evolution @ Gateway 36, on the site of the former Rockingham mining site, south of Barnsley.

The development is located on 15 acres of land, near junction 36 of the M1, off the Dearne Valley Parkway, and aims to meet the area’s rising demand for new industrial units.

Harworth is working in partnership with Barnsley Council, which granted planning consent for the development last month.

The first phase will see construction of the initial site infrastructure and the first three units, which will total 65,000 sq ft and which are available for lease and expected to be completed by the end of the year.

A number of other serviced plots, offering a total of 111,000 sq ft, will be available for roadside and industrial use on a design and build basis.

Plots for roadside use could feature a pub, drive-through restaurant, hotel or car showroom.

The development has been supported by the council’s Property Investment Fund, one of the flagship initiatives identified in the Barnsley Jobs and Business Plan which was launched last year.

The plan sets out a commercially-focused blueprint for creating more jobs and an increased and stronger business base, together with an improved workforce.

In total, R-evolution @ Gateway 36 will create more than 450 jobs and those behind the project estimate it has the potential to add £20m to the local economy. Occupiers will have access to business support through the council’s investment team, including free guidance on access to finance, recruitment and training as well as the potential to receive business growth coaching from the Enterprising Barnsley programme.

The site was part of the former Rockingham Colliery and was used for opencast mining until 1995.

Campbell Carruth, director of business space at Harworth Estates, said: “We are delighted that we are bringing forward a high-quality scheme with Barnsley Council’s support.

“There is a significant lack of new units of less than 50,000 sq ft in Yorkshire, and R-evolution @ Gateway 36 addresses this need.”

And James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This scheme epitomises public-private collaboration in our city region

“I am pleased to see that local business is responding to market demand by bringing forward vital development.”

Funding for the infrastructure works and the construction of the first three units has come from a £4.8m loan from the Sheffield City Region joint European support for sustainable investment in city areas fund.

Made up of European Regional Development Fund and Growing Places capital, it aims to provide funding for projects at competitive commercial rates where funding might otherwise prove challenging in the current markets.

The fund commits capital to regeneration opportunities with a focus on office and industrial developments which meet targets on employment, remediation and floorspace outputs.

Harworth Estates is one of the leading regeneration specialists in the UK, wholly owned by Harworth Group plc.

It owns and manages around 27,000 acres of land across 200 sites ranging from residential development land to commercial properties, low carbon energy schemes and agricultural estates.

It works with local communities, public bodies and developers to bring life to old brownfield sites and turn derelict land into employment areas and new homes. Its flagship sites include Waverley in Rotherham, and Logistics North in Bolton.

The company says its strategy is to focus on maximising and realising the value of its assets through development, and taking sites in the north and the Midlands forward through the planning system.

It says its developments, if brought to their full potential, will add £2.5bn in gross added value to the UK economy.