CEO Comtek Network Systems UK Ltd and chair, DBF
The plan to put Deeside Industrial Park on the map as a 21st-century modern business park is looking more realistic than ever right now.
The Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council have been working tirelessly with the business community to build on the huge successes of the industrial park.
Deeside Industrial Park had already been ranked as one of the most successful manufacturing and employment powerhouses in the UK, thanks to Lord Barry Jones, who fought to establish it.
The park has one of the most beautiful cycle route networks connecting Chester, Wirral, Connah’s Quay and Shotton to all of the park’s four zones.
Its cycle route network has become a major recreation place for cyclists from all over the neighbouring communities.
Despite all the successes and achievements of the park, there are some serious defects with its original design.
There is very little public transport access to the park, which is practically preventing young people who cannot afford a car or have a driving licence to access employment.
In addition, there are huge car parking issues and traffic congestion.
The DBF has been continuously campaigning for a train station within the park, connecting this great employment hub to Liverpool, Wrexham and the small rural villages on its route.
The great news is that our campaign has paid off. There is a commitment by the Welsh government to build a brand new railway station called ‘Deeside Parkway Station’.
This modern station will have a park-and-ride facility, cycle port and shuttle services for all businesses. The Deeside Enterprise zone will be directly connected to Wrexham, Wirral Water Enterprise Zone and Liverpool.
There is also a plan to modernise the railway station in Pen-y-Ffordd. This station will have a much larger car park so that it can be utilised as a park-and-ride station.
It will also have secure places for cyclists to leave their bicycles in the station and travel to Deeside Industrial Park or go to Liverpool for leisure and employment.
Great news to those who have been excluded from leisure and employment due to lack of public transport availability.
There will be four trains every hour, encouraging people to leave their cars at home and access an affordable and reliable transport network.
The further exciting news is that Flintshire County Council has been extremely shrewd and wasted no time in applying to the UK Governments’ ‘Levelling Up Fund’.
This is a £30million LUF grant to speed up all the above projects and developments.
The application was supported by the DBF and submitted to the UK Government on Friday, June 18.
The business community, working together with Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government has already achieved huge successes, such as the Northern Gateway development, Enterprise Zone status for Deeside, the largest solar farm in the country and the UK’s largest waste to energy plant.
Now there is a plan to build one of the UK’s most advanced Hydrogen Energy Hubs in Deeside and 1,500 homes only walking distance from the employment.
This is an outstanding success story and we must shout about it and be proud of our achievements.