21 Feb 2022
Work is underway in St Helens to build a new distribution centre for one of the UK’s largest retailers which will bring more than 1,000 jobs to the Borough.
As part of a three-phase development at Omega West by Miller Developments, ground preparation has started on unit one to be occupied by Merseyside-based firm, Home Bargains, which has more than 570 stores across the UK, with an annual turnover of more than £3bn.
With the area already home to a number of businesses including Asda, Amazon and Travis Perkins based at Omega Business Park, Warrington – planning permission was granted by Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, in November 2021 for a new phase at the employment site – known as Omega West – located in the Bold ward of St Helens.
As well as the vast employment opportunities, coordinated by St Helens Borough Council’s Ways to Work programme, other key features of the development include:
– A 17 acre ‘Green Wedge’ planted to provide biodiversity mitigation and ecological enhancements
– Almost £2m in developer contributions to improve Bold Forest Park as a priority area
– £750,000 for better bus connections between St Helens and Omega West
– Improved pedestrian and cycling routes within and nearby the site
A reserved matters planning application has now been submitted to St Helens Borough Council for unit two which, if granted, would see a new logistics building constructed on land immediately south of Home Bargains, with an end user interested which has the potential to create 1,000 new jobs.
While later this year, a planning application is expected to be submitted for unit three which has also attracted interest in an occupier and could create between 400 to 500 new jobs.
Commenting on a recent site visit, Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, said: “This project will bring in vital jobs that will make a lasting positive impact to so many of our residents’ lives – not least on the construction side which will include apprenticeships as well as social value aspect, with the developer agreeing to go into local schools to raise aspirations by promoting the many career opportunities in the construction industry.
“When I spoke at the planning inquiry, I mentioned the fact that TJ Morris, the group behind Home Bargains, had said they would support communities like Bold and Thatto Heath which are close to this site and focus their recruitment for those who are out of work in those areas – and they’ve already invested heavily in our borough, becoming the new principal shirt sponsors of Saints.
“With so much happening now in the way of regeneration projects, these are really exciting times for the borough. We promised sustainable inclusive growth with new jobs and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”
David Milloy, Managing Director of Miller Developments, said: “Omega has already brought significant benefits to Warrington since we first broke ground 10 years ago. Omega West now offers an opportunity to deliver meaningful economic and social benefits to St Helens, and we welcome the opportunity to work with Cllr McCauley and his colleagues to realise them.“
Home Bargains is expected to be operational in 2024.