PLANS to turn Doncaster into a port moved a step closer today with confirmation that a £400m deal has got the go-ahead.
Three major developers have agreed the funding and development plan for the Rossington Inland Port, which they say will bring as many as 5,500 new jobs to the borough.
Construction of the port and logistics hub, to be located near the old Rossington Colliery site, will begin next year, with facilities and occupation options being available the same year.
Developed through a cooperation of Helios Europe, Shepherd Developments and Segro, Rossington will feature bonded warehouses and customs clearance facilities as well as a massive rail freight and intermodal handling area. This will link the east coast ports with an inland location, seen as ideal for retail operations and centralised logistics.
The news follows quickly on the heels of confirmation of Government funding for FARRRS - the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme - which was seen as essential to make the port scheme viable.
The new road, for which £18 million has been granted by the Coalition Government as part of their regional growth programme, will link the development directly to the M18 motorway.
It is understood the developers have already had talks with port operator Hutchison Whampoa about the operation of the rail freight connections, with direct rail links to Hutchinson’s port at Felixstowe in Suffolk one possibility.
This would allow freight to be run straight from the port to Doncaster with minimal delay as customs clearance could be obtained once the goods were in Rossington Inland Port.
Mike Hughes, chief executive of Helios Europe, said the company was keen to provide employment opportunities for local people and Doncaster was widely recognised for its good quality and loyal workforce.
“This is good news for Doncaster,” he added.