Heysham could become an investment area in the government’s post-Brexit push for growth

The government is encouraging local councils to create special growth areas and in some cases new housing.

Investment zones were launched by the government in September to create locations with multiple business incentives. Elements could include low tax and business rate agreements and “liberalized” planning procedures.

They aim to accelerate economic growth, business investment in buildings, equipment and jobs and, in some places, the construction of new homes.

Heysham could become an investment area.

A Heysham investment zone is among various updates planned for Lancaster City Council’s next meeting tonight (Nov 9).

It follows recent talks between all of Lancashire’s local council leaders with the Tory-led Lancashire County Council over plans for an investment zone across the county using ‘business corridors’ and job centers. Lancashire has been included in a list of 38 areas where the government is considering new areas.

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Lancaster City Council Leader, Councilor Caroline Jackson, said: ‘Through county officers we have been asked to tender for an investment area at very short notice. The proposed area was Heysham Gateway.

“No housing was to be included and acceptance was to be based on an investment area that proved consistent with our business priorities.”

She added: “It is not clear whether the government will pursue this initiative. Lancashire council leaders continued their work on Plan 2050 – a county blueprint for post-pandemic recovery, growth and the development of a greener economy – with overarching priorities set for all areas and meetings between leaders, officers and general managers to agree on progress so far.

Heysham is a key regional and national location as a seaport to Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man. Today Peel Ports owns Heysham Port which is used by ferry operators such as Stena Line, Seatruck and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Heysham also has nuclear power stations. The Heysham 1 plant was due to be decommissioned in 2014 and Heysham 2 to cease production in 2018. However, calls have been made this year for operations to continue operating for longer.

Lancaster City Council is involved in the Heysham Gateway project which aims to transform a former oil refinery site in Heysham with new commercial investment.

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