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Nagal Landons site in Knowsley

Ambitious growth strategy reaping rewards – for the borough and its residents

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley is a borough undergoing transformation, but not only that, it is transforming at pace.

In the last five years, more than 2,500 new homes have been built, with a further 1,500 in development and 4,000 in planning.

£90m has been invested into the town centres with the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot now under construction, along with the new retail development in Kirkby town centre.

An array of new food and drink outlets have opened in Prescot, while the shop front improvement scheme in Huyton has seen 13 units transformed.

Across the borough, an unprecedented level of ‘speculative development’ in the last year has allowed existing business to expand as well as created premises for new businesses to move in to the borough.

In fact, GVA (Gross Value Added – a term which measures the value the goods and services in Knowsley) has increased by 140% since 1997, with Knowsley having the highest growth in GVA per head of population in the whole of the UK.

How does business growth help people in Knowsley?

Over the last year, business growth is not only helping to grow the local economy, but with growth also comes employment opportunities for local people.  In 2018/19, 883 new jobs were created in 2018/19. Not only that – average earnings have risen by 16.3% in Knowsley, compared to just 2.3% nationally.

Knowsley has also reported a reduction in unemployment by 18.2%, when the national picture has seen a 3.5% increase.

Supporting residents into employment remains a priority for the council and a range of tailored support is offered through the council’s Knowsley Works team.

For a small borough and one of the hardest hit areas in terms of Government funding cuts, Knowsley is certainly aiming, and achieving, high.

Recent examples of business growth in Knowsley include:

  • Clarke Energy, based on Knowsley Business Park, has recently refurbished its overhaul and repair centre, bringing with it job opportunities.
  • Liberty Energy, also based on Knowsley Business Park, has saved 143 jobs having absorbed Warmer Energy and they are now looking to relocate into a single, larger unit within the borough.
  • DAMS has extended its factory on Knowsley Business Park and the business has seen an increase in staff. Future growth is expected as the business moves into more market areas and diversifies its product range.
  • A double growth project on Knowsley Business Park has been developed by Lombard Shipping and Nagel Langdon. Nagel Langdon built a new, bespoke temperature controlled distribution centre (pictured, top) creating 40 new jobs, whilst Lombard Shipping acquired the old Nagel site for its own expansion, which has seen a tripling of floor space.
  • Sovereign Transport Services on Knowsley Business Park has increased its workforce and fleet to meet an increased demand for their goods. Further growth is expected over the next couple of years.
  • A planning application has just been approved for a new manufacturing facility on Knowsley Business Park (former Kodak site). Plans include the construction of a brand new 50,000 sq ft factory creating 50 new jobs. Local suppliers are being sourced for the construction. Work is expected to start on site in spring 2020.
  • Work is underway to create a new £2.5m laboratory on Knowsley Business Park to provide specialist services and supplements the Alfred H Knight’s HQ campus on Kings Business Park in Prescot.
  • Following Adlib’s move into the 83,600 sq ft former Bosch unit on Knowsley Business Park, the company has invested further and expanded their premises, which has also seen their workforce grow from 130 to 170 staff.

No wonder business loves Knowsley!

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “Encouraging more businesses into our borough and creating more job opportunities for our residents is a key priority for the council.

“Companies that choose to locate or expand in Knowsley have commended us for the help we provide to support their needs.

“This, along with the borough’s fantastic strategic location, is the reason why so many companies choose Knowsley as their home.”

Want to know more?

If you run a business that is looking to expand or locate to Knowsley, contact Invest Knowsley for support. Call 0151 477 4000 or email Invest@Knowsley.gov.uk.