Thousands more jobs on way at Derbyshire M1 development site

Markham Vale
Markham Vale

Thousands of jobs have been created and thousands more are on the way at the county council’s flagship development scheme at Markham Vale.

The multi-million pound regeneration project intends to develop 200 acres of the former Markham Colliery site near Duckmanton, east of Chesterfield.

Markham Vale

Markham Vale

READ MORE: See who has appeared in court from Chesterfield

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.

So far, 12 years on, the project has created 1,628 full-time jobs and brought forward development on 162 acres of the site – 115 of which are either fully developed or have buildings being constructed.

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

The overall project, which sits next to the M1, was due to cost £88 million and has been masterminded by close work between the county council and Henry Boot Developments.

This week, (Thursday, November 8) Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet will be asked to sign off on another £7.17 million to complete the project, taking the scheme to an overall cost of £94.15 million.

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

Funding for the project has come from a variety of sources, including £14.5 million from the Department for Transport, £14.2 million Enterprise Zone funding from Department for Communities and Local Government, £7.5 million from English Partnerships, nearly £6 million from EMDA/Alliance SSP (sub-regional strategic partnership), £5.9 million from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund and £1.6 million from British Coal.

June 2 this year marked 25 years since the former Markham Colliery closed in 1994 after more than a century of use for coal mining – having become fully operational in 1885.

The site become infamous for a series of disasters – resulting in 106 deaths – which are marked with a memorial designed by artist Stephen Broadbent.

There is also a memory wall at the newly constructed Environment Centre – a building owned and developed by the county council.

Nine miners were killed in a methane explosion in 1937.

In 1938 – 80 years ago this year – 79 miners were killed and 40 were seriously injured following an underground coal dust explosion.

Then on July 30, 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 bottom.

As part of the site’s redevelopment, the county council has provided details of some of the “recent successes”.

A distribution warehouse for logistics firm Great Bear has been built, and is already providing 270 jobs, with a total of 400 expected when it is fully operational.

The firm has also secured a second warehouse, which when up and running in early 2019 could create a further 400 jobs.

A factory and warehouse for printing company Inspirepac Ltd – recently acquired by Smurfitt Kappa – is now up and running and has created 120 jobs.

A cluster of small workshops has also been completed and are currently being marketed for sale, which will create space for 13 business units and up to 70 jobs – 40 of which should be secured from 2019 onwards.

“Detailed terms” have been agreed for a manufacturing and distribution centre for Grangers International, a cleansing products company. This could be operational by early 2019 and create up to 80 jobs, with room to expand its plot further.

Construction recently started on a state-of-the-art, 58,000ft² building for a medical equipment company, with the option to double the size of the facility in future years.

When fully operational in mid-2019, the company expects to employ an initial 35 people, with the opportunity to double that figure as it meets its growth plans. A Non-Disclosure Agreement is in place over the identity of this firm.

In February 2017, a large distribution and office complex for German auto-parts company Ferdinand Bilstein was completed. The firm has recruited to 150 jobs and there is potential for a further 250 in the coming years.

Derbyshire-based GF Tomlinson has moved into a chilled distribution centre, as of March, and employs 120 people, with 80 further roles in the pipeline.

Of the above developments that have been completed, the private sector investment secured at the site is estimated at between £100m and £130m.

For those developments that have been secured, but not yet completed, the additional private sector investment is valued at approximately £50m.