On Monday, metro mayors’ Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham visited The Heath in Runcorn, to view how the regeneration of the site from its former ICI headquaters has developed.
The Heath now see’s over 2000 employees on the site, from over 120 businesses ranging from sectors such as science and technology, making this business and technical park one of the countries most progressive and notable.
Both metro mayors’ are keen for regeneration across the UK and deemed The Heath to be a pioneering and representative regeneration model, helping to boost the UK’s economy.
Andy Burnham comments “I have been impressed by this vibrant industrial base in Runcorn. Both myself and Steve Rotheram are developing local industrial strategies and, facilities like this should be at the heart of our thinking.”
Both metro mayors’ and SOG group managing director, John Lewis, met three businesses and their employees on site at The Heath. Pictured below is just one of the businesses they met, SpheriTech, a life-science company undertaking pioneering research projects to develop artificial blood.
Other businesses visited on the day included Nanoco Group plc, world leaders in the development of cadmium-free quantumn dots and nanomaterials.
The metro mayors’ were also shown a state-of-the-art customer demonstration plant for clean-tech pioneers Econic Technologies, which SOG have helped to construct. The new plant is the first of its kind in the UK and enables Econic to showcase its cutting-edge catalyst technologies in a bespoke industrial unit.
The types of research that is being carried out by businesses located at The Heath deemed impressive on all counts. Particularly in the science field, pioneering research for sciences such as joint regeneration and the manufacturing of artificial blood are just some of the potential life-changing studies carried out on the site, on a daily basis.
Mr. Rotheram commented, “It’s the types of businesses and some of the innovations that I was most fascinated by. I think the only way UK plc will be able to recover from a post industrialised wipe out and what happens in a post-Brexit world is to use facilities in a different way and try to encourage ingenious businesses to start to look at innovation.”
Andy Burnham later added, “Building networks between acedamia and businesses, big and small, is central to achieving economic prosperity and developing a varied skills base.
The visit to The Heath from both Metro Mayors concluded an insightful and knowledgeable one, with confirmation that regeneration is important across the uk and is a key part of the mayors’ remit.
John Lewis rounded the days visit off with the following: “SOG is well placed to offer advice and guidance to both Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester on regeneration issues. I’m more keen to work with the local authorities to find ways of speeding up our own plans to build on our success to date.
“Runcorn have done remarkable things by cleverly refurbishing the 1960’s buildings to make them fit for purpose for today’s science innovation. However, we must look to the next 20 years as we need to modernise and keep up to date with technological advancements and environmental standards.
“Plans for The Heath over the next 5 years will turn the site into probably the most advanced and environmentally-friendly business and technology centre in the north of England.”
To enquire or view existing space and facilities at The Heath, please visit the website – http://theheath.com/
Images courtesy of: http://www.runcornandwidnesworld.co.uk