Signs of growth and investment are already in evidence a year after work began on the Heysham to M6 Link Road, according to road builders Costain.
Lancashire County Council’s construction partner has taken on 80 people from the area as part of a pledge to ensure a minimum of 100 local unemployed people will receive training and jobs during construction, and has also employed five apprentices.
The project has also been a boost for local contractors and suppliers, the company says, and it has encouraged other businesses to invest ahead of the better transport links and resulting economic growth which the £124.5m road is predicted to bring following completion in summer 2016.
Daniel Ternent, project manager at Lafarge Tarmac said: “Early collaboration and working closely with Costain has helped us to maintain and grow our local contract haulage fleet, as well supporting local haulage companies. “We will deliver over 800,000 tonnes of mixed aggregates and asphalt as well as 25,000 cubic metres of concrete over the life of the project, which is great for local business and local jobs.
“In addition we’ve created an additional role in our business at our local quarry, as well as two at the new ready-mix plant at Leapers Wood which was primarily installed to supply the project.”
Alistair Eagles, managing director Irish Sea, Seatruck Ferries Ltd, said: “We have been investing heavily in new ships and we are confident that with the right ships, the new road and new customers basing themselves here, we will see an increase in business at Heysham port, bringing investment for the area and jobs for the local community. We have already seen one of the largest transport companies in Ireland move some of their operations to Heysham, which is indicative of the level of confidence generated by the link road.
“They previously did not ship through Heysham.”
County Coun John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The Heysham to M6 Link has always been about more than building a new road – creating this much better connection to the Heysham peninsula will bring economic growth across the region.”
The work is due to be completed in summer 2016.