Council approves £2m to create jobs and homes at Coalite site

Coalite plant.

Coalite plant.

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Plans to build houses and create jobs at the former Coalite site have taken a step forward now Derbyshire County Council has approved £2m to help plug a funding gap.

Funding to redevelop the 140 acre site of the former Coalite coking works – which lies partly in North East Derbyshire district and partly in Bolsover district – was agreed at a meeting of Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Members on Tuesday 11 October.

The old Coalite plant off Buttermilk Lane, Shuttlewood, Bolsover.

The old Coalite plant off Buttermilk Lane, Shuttlewood, Bolsover.

And the county council has also applied for a further £5.8m for the project from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – a private sector-led partnership promoting economic growth in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. D2N2 is due to consider the application at a meeting to be held later this year.

The site has remained derelict since Coalite closed down more than 12 years ago and funding is needed to help kick-start its long-awaited regeneration.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Anne Western said: “It’s been a long-held ambition of all three councils to clean up the site and put it to good use and I’m pleased we’ve been able to work together alongside D2N2 and developers Bolsover Land Ltd to drive this project forward.

“The site has massive potential to help regenerate the area by boosting the local economy and creating much-needed jobs for local people. And we’ll be offering the experience and expertise we have built in successfully developing the former colliery site at Markham Vale which is now home to 40 local, national and international businesses and has created 938 jobs so far with many more in the pipeline.”

Bolsover Land Limited, a joint venture between redevelopment specialists Marcol and St Francis Group, acquired the site in 2012. Outline planning permission was granted on the site last year for employment use which will create up to 1,500 jobs and consent for 660 houses, a potential new school, community facilities as given earlier this year.

Councillor Ann Syrett, Leader of Bolsover District Council, said: “This is excellent news and will be music to our local communities ears. The former Coalite site has long been a blight on our landscape, but this funding will not only clean it up, but will breathe new life into the area, bringing with it much needed jobs and residential development.”

Councillor Graham Baxter MBE, Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, added: “This project is huge – but we have experience in undertaking projects of this size as we are currently regenerating the former Avenue Coking Works in Wingerworth.

“We have been working with our partners for years to get this site cleaned up and this announcement shows that our plans are not just a pipe dream, but will become reality and help clean up this eyesore.

“We know you can’t do these things on your own, so the importance of partnership working is fundamental in making this scheme become a reality.”

David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, said: “The Coalite site has great potential, to drive the north Derbyshire and wider economy, which is why we have been working with local partners on gaining significant funding for it from our current £192million Local Growth Fund allocation.”

Work to clear up a number of contaminants on the land is being carried out by Bolsover Land Limited with help from the county council.

Nigel Lax, Development Director for Bolsover Land Limited, added: “From the outset we’ve had a shared vision with the community to clean up and regenerate the site. The grant funding marks a key milestone and is a fantastic boost to delivering the site’s regeneration.

“With the help of D2N2, Derbyshire County Council, Bolsover Council and North East Derbyshire Council we are confident this will become a benchmark for how the public and private sector can work together to transform a large and challenging industrial site to create hundreds of new homes and jobs.”