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Lancashire gas storage project would create hundreds of jobs

25 May 12 Construction of a planned underground gas storage facility at Preesall, Lancashire would create 1200 construction jobs a year for eight years, according to a report by economists to support the planning application.

Halite chairman John Roberts
Halite chairman John Roberts

Halite Energy Group is seeking permission to build 19 caverns in the salt field at Preesall for the storage of natural gas.

The £660m project is being examined by the Planning Inspectorate. A final decision is expected from the secretary of state by April 2013.

To appease local planners, Halite has stated its intention to develop a construction charter to confirm its commitment to local sourcing with an ambition to employ as many people as possible from Lancashire.

Halite commissioned economic development and regeneration consultants Regeneris to produce a report on the economic impact of the project. Regeneris concluded that the impact would be as significant as the Trafford Centre or the new Wembley Stadium.

Regeneris Consulting director Darren Wisher said: “With the right mechanisms in place, this large scale private sector investment would provide jobs for many hundreds of Lancashire residents. Current developments in the energy sector represent the most significant opportunity for Lancashire to diversify its economic base in decades.”

Halite chairman John Roberts added: “There is an urgent need to bring forward major infrastructure schemes such as the one we are proposing to stimulate growth and provide much needed jobs in the UK. This report underlines in detail how our project would make a significant impact at local, regional and national level, should we receive consent.”

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