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Reactor could reinvigorate Avonmouth industrial scene

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Reactor could reinvigorate Avonmouth industrial sceneThe news that  Hitachi is to take over the UK’s Horizon nuclear project and build a new reactor at Oldbury will accelerate Avonmouth’s resurgence as one of the UK’s    major industrial powerhouses.

That’s the view of Tim Davies, head of Colliers International’s Bristol office, who said work on the new nuclear reactor will create further employment opportunities on top of the dramatic increase in activity already being seen across the area.

The reactor project will also help to stimulate renewed interest in the neighbouring Deep Sea Container Terminal project - currently stalled because of a perceived lack of  favourable economic conditions.

But Tim Davies said the immense impact of the £700m reactor deal coupled with a long awaited upswing in GDP figures announced last week could change all that.

He said: “Avonmouth has been a sleeping giant for too long. But there are signs that national and even international interest could once again be focused on the region’s   transport infrastructures.”
Tim Davies, based at Colliers International’s Broad Quay office, cited a clutch of recent deals which suggested Avonmouth was poised to light up the UK industrial map.

He said: “We have signed off the biggest warehouse deal in years at Cabot Park in Avonmouth with Yankee Candle taking the 170,000 square foot 4mation unit which had been vacant for more than two years.

“Work will shortly complete on the Co-Op’s new   £20m distribution centre which will employ around 900 staff and CHEP  has opened a  £4.6m pallet repair facility just up the road at Severnside.”

Tim said the flurry of recent development should focus attention on the   Deep Sea Container Terminal port scheme - which has been approved by the Secretary of State but has not progressed past the initial testing stage as the Port of Bristol waits for global economic conditions to improve.
“With so much going on nearby the terminal scheme is beginning to look an even more likely proposition. Once approved and construction starts the terminal will be ready in about three years.”
He said the £600m scheme   would have enormous long term significance as it could play a pivotal role in future freight  transport requirements.

“Avonmouth is already well known as one of the leading distribution hubs in the country ticking all the boxes for national firms looking to re-locate.

“We anticipate more national firms  will be on the lookout for logistics space  to deal with the widely forecast return of consumer confidence which will follow the unexpectedly positive GDP figures.”
Hitachi is Japan's largest industrial electronics maker and the decision to  build a new reactor at  Oldbury  could create between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs during the construction phase  with a further 1,000 permanent jobs once it is operational.

Tim concluded: “The scale of this project coupled with improving economic fortunes in the vicinity underlines the importance of the Deep Sea Container Terminal.

“Once it gets the go ahead Avonmouth has the potential to become one of the largest and busiest freight ports in  Europe.
“The terminal is closer to more inland container destinations than any other deep water dock which will mean savings for the rail and road networks.

“Avonmouth enjoys direct rail and motorway access from the port which means warehouse and distribution sites will   be at a premium.”

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 6th November 2012 (updated 08/11/2012)

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