Delivery of the first phase of the council’s South Humber Industrial Investment Programme (SHIIP) has now been completed.
Cress Marsh is the first mitigation site which has been progressed by NELC and its regeneration partner, ENGIE, as part of the SHIIP.
The “World Class Environment, World Class Industry” ecological mitigation project started on site in October and the main construction works including the lagoon and islands have now been completed on the 38.9 Ha site.
The project has been supported by £1.1m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £2m from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and £5.2m from North East Lincolnshire Council.
Mitigation sites are required in advance of construction to offset the effect of the development for all activities within influencing distance of the estuary. The area is allocated as mitigation land in the council’s Local Plan and is the first of five schemes planned to be completed in the next three years.
By carrying out these works proactively in advance of any developments, it makes the neighbouring employment sites easier and quicker to invest in, supporting potential inward investors and business expansion opportunities.
Once the site has matured it will be a vast grassland with ponds, muddy areas for wildlife and a lagoon and this environment will replicate the right conditions to accommodate overwintering birds which usually come to the Humber Estuary Special Protection Area.
Protected wildlife species such as Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Widgeon, water voles and bats are expected to make this area their home.
Cllr John Fenty, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Developments like SHIIP take years to bid for the money and bring to fruition. The work to create the mitigation site is key to making sure that, along with the development work we are enabling at the next-door site, we are providing investment sites suitable for occupiers to take advantage of.
The South Humber project itself will see a number of key projects delivered over a 5-10 year period and when complete the programme will create 90 hectares of additional employment land, create 4,000 new jobs and generate £200m within the local economy over the next 25 years.”
Other projects in the scheme include the development of Stallingborough Business Park and the South Humber Bank Link Road also being supported with £2m of Greater Lincolnshire LEP growth deal funding.
The Cress Marsh project has been managed and designed by ENGIE’s architectural team in conjunction with environmental specialist Roger Wardle.
Ursula Lidbetter MBE,Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is the first and largest of several mitigation sites being supported by our Growth Deal programme. They are helping to drive growth and productivity in the South Humber area by enabling development of the new link road between Great Coates Industrial Park and the ports of Immingham and Grimsby.
“Work on the road is already progressing and the natural habitats created will play a key role in helping to retain what is already a special area of conservation.”
Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to” boosting economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and the whole UK to build a country that works for everyone.
“This £2 million investment from the Local Growth Fund will protect local wildlife and ecology while at the same time opening up new land for businesses which will create up to 4,000 new jobs within the local economy as part of a world-class conservation and development strategy.”