Jobs pledge for Bulwell

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Local groups, politicians and the company behind the £50m new energy park in Bulwell have vowed to do what they can to ensure local people get jobs there.

The ground-breaking project is earmarked for a 17-acre site on former allotment land in Blenheim Lane.

The development would boost the area’s credentials as the UK’s most self-contained city for energy production.

The energy park would be built by Nottingham-based clean-tech firm Chinook Sciences Ltd with the aim of creating a world-class design and manufacturing centre.

Speaking at a meeting of Rufford Tenants and Residents Association, the company’s business development manager, Steve Martin said: “We know the Bulwell area needs jobs.

“We envisage creating 200 to 250 jobs at the energy park and we are focusing on local jobs. This will go a long way to making the development part of the local community.”

Mr Martin added: “We are aiming to offer engineering apprenticeships. We are also working with schools and colleges, including Basford Hall, and asking them to tailor their teaching to fit in with what is needed.”

The energy park would house a major new plant for manufacturing equipment to recycle waste material with a ‘gasification’ process that creates energy, including electricity and the potential for district heating.

Mr Martin said it would be a 24:7 operation. The material used would be mainly commercial waste from local companies and there would be about 10 lorry journeys a week to the site.

The process would involve mostly scrap metal and ‘nothing nasty’, he claimed. Chinook were working closely with the Environment Agency and noise limits were specified by planning conditions.

Local MP Graham Allen said: “After the idea was first floated, I put the company and the college in touch with each other as I thought there could be a possibility of jobs for local people, and that’s one of the reasons I am supporting this proposal.

“When you look at Nottingham North, you see a lot of housing and so there’s an imbalance. We need jobs to be created and we need to support business.”

The plans for the energy park have also been welcomed by local business representatives.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The proposed new development in Bulwell is a welcome move which will bring investment into the town and help regenerate a neglected area.

“Projections are that it will also create between 200 and 250 new jobs - many of them apprenticeships - at a time when economic growth is slow, which is also good news.”

Mr Martin also told the meeting that Chinook would maintain and upgrade a wildlife “corridor” on Blenheim Lane.

He said the company were well aware of allotments and fishing ponds near the site and they had their own waste water treatment plant.