Millions of pounds raised from Markham Vale will stay in Derbyshire - instead of going to Sheffield

The 200-acre Markham Vale development near Bolsover is Derbyshire County Councils flagship business project.
The 200-acre Markham Vale development near Bolsover is Derbyshire County Councils flagship business project.

Millions of pounds raised from a huge Derbyshire business park will no longer be leaving the county to plump coffers in Sheffield.

The 200-acre Markham Vale development near Bolsover is Derbyshire County Council’s flagship business project.

The 200-acre Markham Vale development near Bolsover is Derbyshire County Councils flagship business project.

The 200-acre Markham Vale development near Bolsover is Derbyshire County Councils flagship business project.

When it was launched in 2006, the scheme aimed to create up to 4,100 jobs, improve existing roads and build new ones, bring in around £170 million of private sector investment and develop over three million square feet of commercial floor space.

The overall scheme has received £95.17 million in funding, largely from public sources including the county council, central government and the EU.

However, business rates from the 'enterprise zone' – which total £1.93 million a year – have all gone to the Sheffield City Region, a local enterprise partnership.

This was after an agreement by Chesterfield Borough Council in 2014 – which had been part of the Sheffield City Region.

The designated enterprise zone is set to generate these annual funds until 2036.

Between 2011 and 2036 this was set to net Sheffield £48.25 million.

Now, following a decision from Chesterfield to change its allegiance to the D2N2 local enterprise partnership (which includes Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire), this money will stay in Derbyshire.

It had been prompted to pick which local enterprise partnership it was to be officially part of by central government.

Sheffield City Region has agreed to give a rebate of the business rates it has received this year – but only those in excess of £1 million.

This is expected to be £890,000. After the financial year 2019-20 all business rates from the Markham Vale scheme will go to Derbyshire.

In a meeting of Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet meeting today, councillors welcomed the decision.

Coun Barry Lewis, leader of the council, said he had not been “overly enamoured” with the decision for funds to be directed to Sheffield in the first place.

He said: “I am very pleased that we have got to an agreement and I look forward to working with Chesterfield Borough Council on a number of regeneration projects.

Coun Simon Spencer, deputy leader of the authority, said: “Cross party investment has gone into Markham Vale, I had overseen the project when I was the member for regeneration in the previous Conservative administration in 2011.

“It is only right that investment from Derbyshire taxpayers stays in Derbyshire. It is absolutely imperative that these tax rates are repatriated in Derbyshire.”

During the county council’s last update on Markham Vale in November last year, it had revealed that the project had created 1,628 full-time jobs and brought forward development on 162 acres of the site – 115 of which were either fully developed or had buildings being constructed.

Between £100 million and £130 million of the forecast private sector investment had been secured.

All development sites should be occupied or under construction by 2021.

The development site had previously been the Markham Colliery. It closed in 1994 after more than a century of coal mining – having become fully operational in 1885.

The site had become infamous for a series of disasters – resulting in 106 deaths.

Nine miners were killed in a methane explosion in 1937.

In 1938, 79 miners were killed and 40 were seriously injured following an underground coal dust explosion.

Then in 1973, 18 coal miners died and a further 11 were seriously injured when a cage carrying men down to the bottom of the mine failed and plummeted to the pit floor.