Green industry plan blow

Plans for a £36m green energy park in Sheffield have been dealt a blow after a £1.5m grant to clean up the site fell through.

Thursday, 30th August 2018, 16:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th August 2018, 16:01 pm
More than 5,000 tonnes of spoil must be removed from the site.

Abbey Forged Products and AMG Investments had applied for taxpayers’ cash to clean up a 37-acre brownfield site off Claywheels Lane at Beeley Wood near Wadsley Bridge.

But Abbey, which is constructing a £14m new press building adjacent to the plot, has pulled out of the bid because the Beeley Wood Sustainable Industries Park project was going too slowly.

The site was last used 20 years ago to make electrodes for arc furnaces. Some £1.48m had been earmarked to clean it up by The Sheffield City Region organisation in partnership with Sheffield City Council.

Scott Green, Abbey group projects manager, said they withdrew from the grant after an eight-month delay.

“It became apparent the funding was for both sites rather than individually and our project had to be in tandem with theirs. But the timescales didn’t match. The money wouldn’t have been that beneficial if it was going to delay us.”

The firm now hopes to have the new press up and running within two years, he added.

In March, Leivers Consultancy tendered for the removal of 5,500 tonnes of spoil from the site on behalf of AMG Investments. But Mark Leivers, of Leivers Consultancy, said he was no longer involved in the project and could not provide a contact at AMG.

In December, Beeley Wood Biogas Ltd was granted permission for a £10m food waste power station on the Beeley Wood site. A spokesman said the project was progressing as planned.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, at Sheffield City Council, said: “All partners worked hard to progress this project, but unfortunately were unable to reach an agreeable position.

“There is still opportunity for some elements of the project to proceed and the council will continue to work with AMG and Abbey to see if the wider ambition for the area can be realised.”